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LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 

AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 

IN MEMORY OF 

STEWART S. HOWE 

JOURNALISM CLASS OF 1928 



STEWART S. HOWE FOUNDATION 

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I.H.S. 







J. A. PETERS 




FORTY YEARS OF 
OPERA IN CHICAGO 




Twenty Wacker Drive 
The permanent home of the Chicago Civic Opera 



FORTY YEARS OF 

OPERA 
IN CHICAGO 



by Edward C. Moore 




1930 

HORACE LIVERIGHT • NEW YORK 



COPYRIGHT. I930, BY EDWARD MOORE 



Manufactured in the United States of America 



*p.3 

L/5T OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Permanent Home of the Chicago Civic Opera 

Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

Lilli Lehmann, Marcella Sembrich, Francesco Tamagno, 

Victor IV laurel 20 

Ellison Van Hoose, Johanna Gadski, Edouard de Reszke, 

Jean de Reszke 28 

Nellie Melba, Lillian Nordica, Italo Campanini, Pol Plan- 
con 32 

Luigi Mancinelli, Anton Van Rooy, David Bispham, Ernest 

Van Dyck 38 

Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Louise Homer 44 

Arturo Toscanini, Giorgio Polacco 48 

Leo Slezak, Enrico Caruso 5° 

Margaret Matzenauer, John McCormick 58 

Mary Garden 74 

Luisa Tetrazzini, Emma Eames, Emil Fischer, Geraldine 

Farrar 90 

Titta Ruffo, Giacomo Rimini 106 

Cleofonte Campanini 118 

Olive Fremstadt, Emmy Destinn 146 

Amelita Galli-Curci, Lucien Muratore 156 

Georges Balanoff, Vanni-Marcoux 178 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE 

Vittorio Trevisan 200 

Rosa Raisa 210 

Adolph Bolm, Mme. Tamaki Miura 216 

Charles Marshall, Virgilio Lazzari 222 

Marguerite D'Alvarez 232 

Claudia Muzio 252 

Feodor Chaliapin, Joseph Schwartz 260 

Charles Hackett, Cynara Van Gordon 270 

Edith Mason, Tito Schipa 284 

Alexander Kipnis 296 

Cesare Formichi, Richard Bonelli 304 

The Grand Foyer of Chicago's New Civic Opera House . 318 

Marie Olszewska, Frida Leider 330 

Interior of the New Civic Opera House ; Steel Curtain, Pro- 
scenium Arch and Orchestra Pit of the New Civic 

Opera House 334 

The Triumph Scene from "A'ida" at the Opening Perform- 
ance of the New Civic Opera House 344 

Harriet Lundgren, Edward Caton and Ruth Pryor, Julia 

Barashkova 350 



FORTY YEARS OF 

OPERA 
IN CHICAGO 



FOREWORD OF THE 
AUDITORIUM 

i 

The first performance of opera in the Audi- 
torium, Tuesday, December 10, 1889, "Romeo and 
Juliet," by Charles Gounod. 

Capulet, a Veronese Noble. .Sig. De Vaschetti 

Juliet, his Daughter Adelina Patti 

Tybalt, his Nephew Sig. Perugini 

Romeo, a Montague Sig. Ravelli 

Mercutio, Friend of Romeo. .Sig. Del Puente 
Stephano, Page of Romeo. . .Mme. Fabbri 

Duke of Verona Sig. Bieletto 

Friar Lawrence Sig. Marcassa 

Gertrude, Juliet's Nurse. .. .Mme. Bauermeister 
Gregorio, Servant to Capulet. Sig. Cernusco 

Incidental Dances by Ballet 

Conductor Sig. Sapio 

Stage Director William Parry 

The final performance by the Civic Opera Com- 
pany in the Auditorium, Saturday, January 26, 
1929, "Romeo and Juliet," by Charles Gounod. 

Capulet, a Veronese Noble. .Cesare Formichi 

Juliet, his Daughter Edith Mason 

Tybalt, his Nephew Jose Mojica 

Romeo, a Montague Charles Hackett 

Mercutio, Friend of Romeo. .Desire Defrere 
3 



4 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Stephano, Page of Romeo . . . Irene Pavloska 

Duke of Verona Antonio Nicolich 

Friar Lawrence Edouard Cotreuil 

Gertrude, Juliet's Nurse .... Maria Claessens 
Gregorio, Servant to Capulet . Eugenio Sandrini 

Incidental Dances by Ballet 

Conductor Giorgio Polacco 

Stage Director Charles Moor 

Apparently the two architects of the Auditorium, 
Louis H. Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, put their energy 
into building it instead of talking about it afterwards. 
No comment at all by Adler has been found; in Sullivan's 
book, "The Autobiography of an Idea," which is also his 
own autobiography, published just before his death, only 
this: 

"For several years there had been talk to the effect 
that Chicago needed a grand opera house; but the several 
schemes advanced were too aristocratic and exclusive to 
meet with general approval. In 1885 there appeared the 
man of the hour, Ferdinand W. Peck, who declared him- 
self a citizen, with firm belief in democracy — whatever 
he meant by that; seemingly he meant the 'peepul.' At 
any rate, he wished to give birth to a great hall within 
which the multitude might gather for all sorts of pur- 
poses including grand opera; and there were to be a few 
boxes for the haut monde. He had a disturbing fear, 
however, concerning acoustics, for he understood success 
in that regard was more or less of a gamble. So he 
sought out Dankmar Adler and confided. 

"The only man living, at the time, who had had the 
intelligence to discern that the matter of acoustics is not 
a science but an art — as in fact all science is sterile until 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 5 

it rises to the level of art — was Dankmar Adler, Louis' 
partner." (Throughout his book Mr. Sullivan constantly 
refers to himself as Louis.) "His scheme was simplicity 
itself. With his usual generosity he taught this very simple 
art to his partner, and together they built a number of 
successful theatres. Hence Peck, the dreamer for the 
populace, sought Adler, the man of common sense. Be- 
tween them they concocted a scheme, a daring experiment, 
which was this : To install in the old Exposition Building 
on the lake front, a vast temporary audience room, with 
a huge, scenic stage, and to give therein a two weeks' 
season of grand opera, engaging artists of world fame. 

"This was done. The effect was thrilling. An audience 
of 6,200 persons saw and heard; heard, even to the faint- 
est pianissimo. No reverberation, no echo, — the clear un- 
tarnished tone of voice and instrument reached all. The 
inference was obvious: a great permanent hall housed 
within a monumental structure must follow. This feeling 
marked the spirit of the Chicago of those days. 

"Ferdinand W. Peck, or Ferd Peck as he was gen- 
ally known — now 'Commodore' at 75 — " (Mr. Peck died 
shortly after Mr. Sullivan's book was published) "took 
on his slim shoulders the burden of an immense under- 
taking and 'saw it through.' To him, therefore, all praise 
due a bold pioneer; an emotionally exalted advocate of 
that which he, a rich man, believed in his soul to be 
democracy. The theatre seating 4,250 he called the Audi- 
torium, and the entire structure comprising theatre, hotel, 
office building, and tower he named the Auditorium Build- 
ing — nobody knows just why. Anyway it sounded better 
than 'Grand Opera House.' 

"For four long years Dankmar Adler and his partner 



6 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

labored on this enormous, unprecedented work. Adler 
was Peck's man. As to Louis he was rather dubious, but 
gradually came around — conceding a superior aesthetic 
judgment — which for him was in the nature of a miracle, 
Besides, Louis was young, only thirty when the task be- 
gan, his partner forty-two, and Peck about forty. . . ." 

Later he says: "The drawings of the Auditorium 
Building were now well under way. Louis' heart went into 
this structure. It is old-time now, but its tower holds its 
head in the air, as a tower should. It was the culmination 
of Louis' masonry 'period.' " 

It was finally finished and opened with lavish cere- 
monial. There was a dedicatory program on Monday 
night, December 9, 1889, with acres of speech making, 
a dedicatory ode, and two songs by "Patti, the divine." 
The next night the opera season opened with "Romeo 
and Juliet," and the Auditorium began its career as a 
home of opera, the initiatory company being under the 
management of Henry E. Abbey and Maurice Grau. 
Milward Adams was the house manager. 

Just to connect this matter with the rest of the 
world's doings, what else was happening at the time? The 
newspaper columns tell us much. Benjamin Harrison was 
president and Levi P. Morton vice-president of the 
United States. They had been nominated by the republi- 
can national convention in the same hall a year and a half 
before, the convention being held there because of the 
size of the enclosure, although the building was nowhere 
nearly finished. They came on from Washington to be 
present at the dedication, and were entertained in "true 
Chicago style," according to the headlines, which means 
that their hours of sleep were cut to an irreducible mini- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 7 

mum. It was undoubtedly not considered part of the en- 
tertainment that there were some disquieting rumors in 
the papers that Grover Cleveland might make something 
of a showing when the next presidential election came 
around. 

Dom Pedro had just arrived in Lisbon, having been 
heaved out of his job in Brazil after "forty-nine years of 
spotless reign," and was proclaiming in excited tones to 
all within earshot that Brazil was not yet ready for a 
republican form of government. Jefferson Davis was just 
dead in New Orleans, Robert Browning was to die that 
week in London, having lived just long enough to see his 
final book of poems, "Asolando," come off the press. 

In Chicago they were taking subscriptions for the 
coming world's fair in any sums that contributors could 
be induced to give, and at that time they had raised 
nearly $2,500,000. Over in the court house an extremely 
tired jury was listening to some extremely long-winded 
final arguments on the Cronin murder case by Attorney 
W. S. Forrest and his group for the defense and States 
Attorney Joel Longenecker and his group for the prose- 
cution, a group which included Luther Laflin Mills, W. J. 
Hynes, and Kickham Scanlan. The jury was to stay out 
for seventy hours, with rumors of strife and hard lan- 
guage coming from the jury room, and finally return a 
verdict acquitting John F. Beggs, and giving John P. 
Kunze a sentence of three years and Daniel Coughlin, 
Patrick O'Sullivan, and Martin Burke life sentences. 

During the first week of opera a group of Sioux 
chiefs went through Chicago on their way to sign some 
new treaties at Washington. They did not attend the 
opera, but were taken to Hooley's Theatre, where they 



8 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

saw a bill of "high class vaudeville," presented, among 
others, by George Thatcher, "The renowned Irwin Sis- 
ters," and "The unique Lottie Collins," and where they 
witnessed a ballet and heard "Down Went McGinty." 
Among other entertainments on view at that time, Don- 
nelly and Girard were in "Natural Gas" at the Grand 
Opera House, "Shenandoah" was at McVicker's, the 
McCaull Opera Company was singing "Clover" at the 
Chicago Opera House, Bill Nye and James Whitcomb 
Riley were about to make a joint appearance at Central 
Music Hall, Libby Prison was on view where the Coliseum 
now stands, dime museums were all over the place, the 
Eden Musee at Wabash and Jackson advertised "Dr. 
Cronin's Murder With All Its Sensational Features," and 
at least half a dozen ticket scalpers announced in print 
that they had choice seats for all performances of opera 
at prices up to $6 — the Auditorium having been scaled at 
from $i to $3.50. 

Also, and this makes the male reader feel somewhat 
envious, the best men's suits and overcoats could be 
bought for $25 or less, the best white shirts for $1.50, 
and the best shoes for $5. 

Tuesday, December 10, was a great day for the 
newspapers. There were no staff photographers in those 
days to get out pictures with the magical speed which is 
the rule now, but there were staff artists with hasty 
but steady hands to make drawings and have them trans- 
lated into newspaper cuts. A four-column drawing shows 
the interior of the Auditorium and its stage, a "Scene 
at the Congress street entrance" takes a two-column 
width of space and "A pleasant private box party" two 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 9 

more. Speeches were reported at length, and there are 
prose pictures of all eminent attendants. 

Mayor Cregier opened the floodgates of oratory, to 
be followed by Ferdinand W. Peck, and he by President 
Harrison. Then came John S. Runnells, and finally Gov- 
ernor Fifer. But there was also music. 

Clarence Eddy played Theodore Dubois' Triumphal 
Fantasie for organ and orchestra; the dedicatory ode 
had words by Harriet Monroe and music by Frederick 
Grant Gleason, both Chicagoans, and was done by the 
Apollo Musical Club under the baton of William L. Tom- 
lins, with an orchestra made up partly of Chicago play- 
ers and partly of the operatic orchestra from elsewhere. 
The Apollo Club also sang "See, the Conquering Hero 
Comes," "The Heavens are Telling," the Hallelujah 
chorus, and "America," which last was recognized with 
special pleasure by President Harrison. Finally came 
Patti. 

All she sang was "Home, Sweet Home," and, since 
she could not be permitted to stop there, a Swiss song by 
Eckert, whose trills and ornaments had been on her pro- 
grams for long years. The musical critic held that she 
was delightful, simplicity itself, though not devoid of 
tender feeling, but that two short songs afforded little 
basis of judgment upon how good she actually was. That 
was to come in the opera season. He also complained that 
the operatic orchestra did not apply itself to its choral 
tasks with the zeal or care that it presumably would do 
later in opera. However, great credit was due to all. And 
the next night came "Romeo and Juliet." 

One of the most unfortunate facts in the course 
of delving into musical performances of a former day is 



10 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

that what actually happened must rest upon printed ac- 
counts or memories. Think what a well-made phonograph 
record of Patti in her prime would be as a matter of 
interest to-day! However, W. J. Henderson dove into 
his well-stocked memory not long ago in Musical America 
and produced this about her: 

"The voice was of the most flute-like character, 
soft, yet vibrant and far-reaching, voluptuous, yet chaste, 
'as if somehow a rose might be a throat' (Sidney 
Lanier). Her forte was comedy; her Rosina has not been 
rivaled. Her Semiramide was a glittering maze of vocal 
beauties. Her Violetta was flawless and unmoving. Her 
Juliet was to be admired, but not adored. She sang like 
a lark but not like a tragedienne. She was one of the great 
singers of all time — as a singer, not as a dramatic force. 
There has been in my time only one Patti." 

The performance at the Auditorium seems to have 
been just a bit of a disappointment. The waltz song in 
the first act, one learns, was not remarkable for its bril- 
liancy, Patti evidently saving her voice. Ravelli's voice 
was "somewhat lacking in true refinement," but had some 
effective B naturals in it. Del Puente had "scarcely his 
old resonance of voice," and Perugini "seemed over- 
weighted with his part." Of Patti again, this: 

"It is evident that Mme. Patti's voice is not en- 
tirely the same that it was formerly, say ten or twelve 
years ago. The technical facility is still there to a great 
extent, but it does not possess the same limpid quality, 
and it is evident that it requires more care in its manage- 
ment than formerly. Even her intonation, which was for- 
merly so faultless, is less pure than it used to be, though 
the lapses from absolute truth are not so marked as to 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO II 

be offensive. It is a matter of fact, however, that she does 
sing flat at times. As regards the matter of warmth, which 
is so essential for the proper interpretation of the music 
assigned to Juliet, and so imperatively demanded for the 
delineation of the ardent character of the heroine, Patti 
never did possess it, so that even were her vocalization 
absolutely faultless there would still be left much to be 
desired." 

Genuine emotion, however, seems to pervade this 
paragraph, which preceded the technical musical dis- 
cussion : 

"The doors opened about 7:15 and the procession 
began at once. People came in shivering and hesitated 
to leave their wraps in cloak-rooms. It was a magnificent 
crowd, though, much more magnificent than that of the 
night before. Every one was in full dress, even those 
standing up. It was the most brilliant audience probably 
ever seen in Chicago. Monday night there were many 
who worked in simply to see the interior. They didn't 
have dress suits and wouldn't have known how to wear 
them if they had. These were absent last night; it was 
an opera audience exclusively." 

Forty years later Julius Rosenwald was to tell how, 
not being able to get a ticket for the opening, he crashed 
the gate by coming in through the stage entrance, cross- 
ing into the front of the house, and losing himself in the 
crowd. 

Patti, incidentally, would be considered well paid 
even in these days. She used to receive $3,500 a perform- 
ance, plus ten per cent of the receipts in case they ex- 
ceeded $5,000. But if she did not quite live up to advance 
notices and hopes, Francesco Tamagno, who was visiting 



12 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

America for the first time that year, was acclaimed a 
"king among tenors." There was delight in print over his 
more than six feet of well proportioned stature and the 
magnificent volume of tone with which he poured out 
B flats and C naturals. "There seemed to be absolutely 
no difficulty to him to produce those extreme notes, for 
he gave them as though revelling in their sonority. . . . 
In fact it appears as if Tamagno's star was destined to 
eclipse Patti's." 

Patti evidently read the papers and knew how to give 
out an interview calculated to promote kindly feelings 
among the best people. The Auditorium was perfect, ac- 
cording to her, Chicago might well be proud of it, the 
Metropolitan in New York was a beautiful place, but 
compared to the Auditorium it was like singing in a ball- 
room, and there was nothing comparable in all Europe. 
Also, she was sorry that Chicago had not liked "Romeo 
and Juliet" when it had been appreciated so thoroughly 
in Paris. The interviewer, however, was not to think that 
Chicago had not the appreciation and understanding of 
Paris — it might be a question of taste. She herself would 
have preferred to open in "Trovatore," — something that 
ends with a flourish. 

And, "Chicago seems to get everything now. Really, 
I wonder what is to become of New York." 

The season ran for four weeks. One sees notices of 
Emma Albani in "Faust," Tamagno in "Trovatore," and 
he and Albani in "Huguenots," he and Nordica in 
"Aida," Patti in "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Semira- 
mide," "Martha," and "Sonnambula." Comments thereon 
grow less numerous as the season goes on, for even with 
a new Auditorium it was not considered desirable to re- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 13 

port every performance every time. However, there are 
complaints in the society column that opera is extinguish- 
ing most other social events, and in the music column 
that there are too many performances with a single no- 
table to justify them, that notable being inadequately 
supported by the rest of the cast. This latter has a 
strangely modern touch. 

There was a bit of hard luck at the end. The country 
was being devastated by what a later generation learned 
to call the flu, but what was "la grippe" then. On New 
Year's day the Tribune contained this not altogether 
respectful account of things at the opera: 

"Italian opera has the influenza. Sig. Tamagno is 
ill at the Leland. So is Mme. Guido Valda. So is Mme. 
Pettigiani, and Mme. Nordica is in bed at the Richelieu. 
As a result 'Les Huguenots' was on at the Auditorium 
last evening in place of Verdi's great 'Otello,' and 
although there was $9,000 in the house, the management 
was sad. 

" 'Only myself and Patti are left,' said Milward 
Adams, 'and I am not feeling any too well.' 

"Sig. Tamagno, the tenor, lay under a mountain of 
coverlids at his hotel with a red flannel bandage around 
his neck. He was absolutely indifferent to the wiles of 
Iago Del Puente. He refused to listen to the story of 
Desdemona Albani. The friendship of Cassio Perugini 
weighed not a penny in his mind. He buried his head in 
his pillow and closed his eyes to the scandal that was 
the talk of the gay chaps around the Rialto. Sig. 
Tamagno was sick. 

"In the morning Mr. Abbey and Mr. Peck and Mr. 
Milward Adams called. 



14 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

" 'We must have a medical examination,' said Mr. 
Peck. Dr. Ingals was sent for. He made an excursion 
into Sig. Tamagno's $i,500-a-performance throat. He 
reported that it was swollen and colored a vulgar red. 

" 'He cannot sing to-night,' said Dr. Ingals. 

"The party repaired to Mme. Pettigiani's apart- 
ment. Mme. Pettigiani looked like a traveler over- 
whelmed by a snowstorm. Lace and down were piled to 
the ceiling and only her face was visible. 

" 'Mme. Pettigiani cannot sing,' said the doctor. 

"The procession moved to Mme. Valda's apart- 
ments. Mme. Valda was convalescent in a big, easy chair. 
Dr. Ingals viewed her larynx. 

11 'Mme. Valda is sick,' said the doctor. 

"Mme. Nordica was found at the Richelieu. She 
was also abed. She had a fever. She had a sore throat. 
She coughed. 

" 'It is epidemic,' said the doctor. 'Mme. Nordica 
cannot sing.' 

"With four of its leading artists down, the Audi- 
torium was gloomy. Only Mme. Patti and Milward 
Adams were in good health. Mr. Adams has not ap- 
peared on the stage since he sang 'Silver Threads Among 
the Gold' at the opening of tne Pecatonica Grand Opera 
House in 1878, but he cheerily volunteered his services. 
They were politely but unhesitatingly declined. This left 
only Mme. Patti. Mme. Patti was sitting in her suite 
at the Richelieu eating marshmallows, which she says are 
good for the throat, and toasting her toes over a cannel 
coal fire. 

"'You are well, are you not?' Mr. Adams asked 
her. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 5 

" 'Perfectly,' said Mme. Patti. 

" 'Then you can sing to-night?' 

" 'For $4,000.' 

"The committee withdrew. 

"The Auditorium passed into the dumps. Mr. Ab- 
bey thrust his hands deep in his pockets and stalked 
about angrily. Mr. Peck buried his face in his hands and 
moaned. Mr. Adams lost his cheerfulness and kicked a 
man who asked for a pass. 

"At this juncture Mme. Albani appeared. Mme. 
Albani is an American and she is willing. Would she 
fill the gap? Of course she would. She went on in 
'Les Huguenots,' and the $9,000 in the house was satis- 
fied." 

But Tamagno recovered enough to sing "Otello" 
on Thursday, January 2, and it was counted the crown- 
ing event of the season. Two more performances and 
the company was off for Mexico where grippe germs were 
not. 

The first season of opera at the Auditorium played 
to something over 100,000 persons, and in its twenty- 
two performances took in $232,952. The biggest audi- 
ence was the last. Patti closed the season with "The 
Barber of Seville," the Shadow song from "Dinorah," 
"Home, Sweet Home," and Arditi's "Kiss" waltz in 
the lesson scene — another bit that sounds modern — and 
the audience paid $14,320 to hear it. 

All of which was a considerable source of pleasure 
to Milward Adams. Mr. Adams, it has been noted above, 
was the house manager of the Auditorium, a position 
that he held from the beginning until close to the time 
when the Chicago Grand Opera company was organized. 



1 6 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Though no musician himself, in his business relations he 
became about as much of an influence in Chicago's musical 
development during his active career as any other single 
person in the city. 

As a young man he is first discovered in the box 
office of Central Music Hall, on the south-east corner of 
State and Randolph streets, for a long time about the 
only abiding place of concerts and lectures in Chicago. 
Next he is found as manager of the summer concerts that 
Theodore Thomas and his orchestra used to give in the 
Exposition building on the lake front, a structure that 
vanished a good many years ago. It is true that his name 
does not appear in the official souvenir program of the 
"First Chicago Opera Festival" held there April 6 to 18, 
1885, but it is quite likely that he had some rather im- 
portant if quiet share in the proceedings. 

This was the operatic season mentioned by Mr. 
Sullivan for which he and Adler reconstructed part of the 
building into an opera house, applying thereto their own 
principles of acoustics. Patti headed the company — one 
reads, among other amazing statements, that she sang 
the name part of "Aida" then — and some of the other 
artists were Fursch-Madi and Dotti, dramatic sopranos, 
Scalchi, contralto, Emma Nevada (her first appear- 
ance), Nicolini, tenor, De Pasqualis, baritone, Cherubini 
and De Vaschetti, bassos. There was a "grand festival 
chorus of 300," a "grand orchestra of 100," and Luigi 
Arditi, now best known as the composer of the waltz 
song, "II Bacio," conducted. 

The season was in Italian, though only seven of 
the fourteen operas were of the Italian school. They 
were "Semiramide," "Linda di Chamounix," "Lucia di 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 7 

Lammermoor," "La Somnambula," as it is named in 
the program, "Aida," "II Trovatore," and "I Puritani." 
The others were "L'Africaine," "Mireille," "Martha," 
"Der Freischutz," "Faust," and "Lohengrin," with one 
repetition on the final matinee. But they were all sung 
in Italian. The purists of opera in its original tongue 
had not begun campaigning then. 

After Mr. Adams moved into the business office of 
the Auditorium he seems to have become a kindly, if at 
times drastic, czar over its musical events. Not long ago 
Lieutenant Commander John Philip Sousa wrote me this 
about him: 

"The first time I met Milward Adams was on the 
occasion of my first tour with the Marine Band in 
Chicago. He was then a young man and exceedingly up 
to date. I remember that it rained very hard on the sec- 
ond day of our concerts, and my manager, fearful of the 
receipts, said, 'We will not have $1,000 in the house.' 
Adams said, 'I'll bet a magnum of champagne that it 
will be double that.' My manager accepted the bet and we 
had, if I remember right, twenty-three or twenty-four 
hundred in the house, and when Adams wanted my man- 
ager to pay the magnum he hesitated and insisted that a 
quart was enough to lose. Adams said, 'A quart be 
hanged. I bet a magnum and if I had lost I would have 
paid it — you lost and you must pay.' So we had the 
magnum." 

A man of that sort makes warm friends — and 
equally warm enemies. Mr. Adams had a number of 
earnest fights in the course of his career, but most of his 
associates became and remained his friends. He was 
a good deal of an idealist in music, which is why he 



1 8 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

became such an important influence in the musical de- 
velopment of the city. At his death, some twenty years 
after these events, he left his large, interesting, and in 
many ways unique collection of photographs, souvenirs, 
and play bills of the celebrities who had appeared under 
his management to the Newberry Library of Chicago, 
where it still is. 

One notices in some of the newspaper quotations 
of the period a desire to tease Mr. Adams in print. 
Newspaper men were a graceless lot in those days, and 
all you have to do is belong to a newspaper staff now to 
hear frequently from the old timers that they have not 
improved. But the teasing sent in Mr. Adams' direction 
is almost always in kindly mood, which is one way of 
discovering the esteem in which he was held by his asso- 
ciates and acquaintances. 



II 

For some time thereafter the Auditorium was used 
only for concerts. The first was labeled a musical festival 
for the benefit of the I. N. G. new armory. Dr. Florenz 
Ziegfeld, the lieutenant-colonel, and for many years the 
president of the Chicago Musical College, was the musi- 
cal director. There were bands and soloists, among them 
Miss Grace E. Jones, soprano; L. A. Phelps, tenor; 
J. Allen Preisch, bass; August Hyllested, Emil Liebling, 
and Harrison Wild, pianists; the Schumann Lady Quar- 
tet, and the Lotus and Imperial Quartets. The dates were 
January 19 and 25. 

During the week of January 27, Monday and 
Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoon, Pablo de 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 19 

Sarasate, violinist, and Eugen d'Albert, pianist, gave three 
joint concerts. They were respectively forty-six and 
twenty-six years old at the time. Assisted by a "grand 
orchestra" under the direction of Adolph Rosenbecker, 
d'Albert played for the first, the Chopin E minor concerto 
and solos by Grieg, Rubinstein, and Strauss-Tausig; for 
the second, the Liszt E flat concerto and solos by Grieg 
and Liszt; for the third the Beethoven "Emperor," and 
solos by Grieg and Liszt. Sarasate's achievements were 
first, the Mendelssohn concerto and his own "Carmen" 
fantasy; second, the Beethoven concerto and the Saint- 
Saens Rondo Capriccioso; third, the Bruch G minor con- 
certo and his own "Faust" excerpts. D'Albert would seem 
to have made an enormous hit, but some surprise was 
expressed over Sarasate, since he did not display the 
expected degree of Spanish passion, although credited as 
a very fine violinist. 

The Apollo Musical Club, having appeared up to 
that time at Central Music Hall, moved to the Audi- 
torium for its future concerts, and Mr. Adams announced 
that in February the J. C. Duff Opera Company would 
put on a season of Gilbert and Sullivan on a scale of 
magnificence never before attempted in this country. 

It opened with "Pinafore," Digby Bell taking the 
part of Sir Joseph Porter, Laura Joyce Bell, Little But- 
tercup, and W. H. Clark, Dick Deadeye, and they said 
in the papers that the company presented an ensemble 
difficult to surpass. As a Gilbert and Sullivan work, it 
was in competition with "The Gondoliers," then on for 
a run at the Chicago Opera House. In ten days it changed 
its bill to "The Mikado," and at the same time it was 
told in the advertisements that the Patti company would 



20 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

come back March 10 for another week of grand opera. 

This outline showed six performances, Nordica and 
Tamagno in "L'Africaine," Patti in "Linda," Albani 
and Tamagno in "Otello," Patti in "Lakme," Albani and 
Tamagno in "Huguenots," and, to close, Patti in 
"Semiramide." Then as now, names of artists were con- 
sidered quite as important as names of operas in inducing 
the public to buy tickets. Patti was evidently in a bit 
worse voice than when she had opened the house. There 
are remarks about her having to be prompted and that 
"unfortunately" the prompter's voice could be heard 
clearly because of the admirable acoustics of the house. 
There are also comments on large blocks of empty seats. 
But the "Otello" performance was considered to be of 
extraordinary merit. 

More opera. On April 21 there came a company 
from the New York Metropolitan to present a season 
in German and to stay until May 10. Most of the names 
of the artists are now forgotten, but there was no less 
a personage than Frau Lilli Lehmann among the sopra- 
nos, another, Herr Emil Fischer as one of the bassos, 
and Mr. Walter Damrosch conducting. Two perform- 
ances of "Tannhauser" and one each of "William Tell," 
"Meistersinger," "The Jewess," and "Lohengrin" filled 
the first week. Again the opening made the first page, and 
again opera was treated with only partially complete 
respect. 

"There is a deal of difference," says one account, 
"between the applause at the German opera and that at 
the Italian opera. When Patti sings, for instance, the 
enthusiasm bubbles up in an irresponsible sort of way; 
people clap and cheer, and very young men cry 'Bravo 1' 





Photo by Dupont 
Lilli Lehmann 



Photo by Dupont 

Marcella Sembrich 





Francesco Tamagxo 



Photo by Dupont 
Victor Maurel 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 21 

"At the German opera the enthusiasm accumulates 
in silence; then, of a sudden, it is thrown out in great, 
solid Teutonic chunks. It is the difference between pelting 
an artist with roses and presenting him with a house 
and lot. 

"There was plenty of enthusiasm in the Auditorium 
last night, but it was of a sober and thoughtful sort. 
And every one looked thoughtful except Herr Possart, 
who was conscious of wearing a pale lilac-colored coat 
and waistcoat and brown trousers. 

"The house was fairly well filled. The function was 
much like all first nights. A double line of carriages out- 
side; boys calling 'books of de oprer' ; the foyer crowded 
with young men in the dress that evening makes impera- 
tive; the parquet a bouquet of white shoulders and roses 
and diamonds. 

"Then Mr. Walter Damrosch, who looks like a Thu- 
ringian noble, raps a tentative rap and starts the orches- 
tra off on the overture. A young woman with fluffy hair 
and blue ribbons on each shoulder says it is 'wunderbar 
schon,' and the young man beside her adds that it is 
"ausgezeichnet.' And so it is — beyond doubt. 

" 'Tannhauser' from the outside may be all right for 
those who spell art with a big A and have a 'cult' and 
all that sort of thing. But the only way to study Wagner 
soulfully is from behind the scenes. 

"One stumbles up a pair of stairs to the stage. A 
score of men in checked blouses are wandering aimlessly 
about among the chaos of trees and rocks and palaces. 
A little four-wheeled trolley has been wheeled to the 
front of the stage and covered with opulent red robes. 
On this Venus stretches herself gracefully and Tann- 



22 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

hauser covers up her feet. Then he rehearses the embrace 
he will give her when she will sing sweetly but firmly, 
'no, love itself to worship thou beloved shalt move.' It 
is this remark of hers, by the way, that causes all the 
trouble. It eats into Tannhaiiser's brain like a fifteen- 
sixteen puzzle and eventually he becomes a 'Wann- 
sinn'ger.' 

''While Venus lies on the trolley and the orchestra 
plays, twenty coryphees wander about and pirouette and 
slang each other in choice German. Then a fat man in 
a green velvet tunic made up with a dust-colored beard, 
tramps out of the dressing-room, a tin sword dangling 
at his heels. 

" 'Donnerwetter noch e'mal!' he growls. 'Vere de- 
deffel gomes dis draff out? I haf baid for no draff, undt 
I dond't vant ihm.' 

''While two or three of the stage hands go to look 
for the imaginary draught, he goes into a corner and sings 
to himself. 

" 'That is Herr Theodor Reichmann,' says an awe- 
struck chorus girl. 

''The bell rings, the curtain goes up; Venus and 
Tannhauser begin to row and spoon in an eminently 
matrimonial fashion. 

"The opera begins. 

"And after it is all over — the curtain down, the 
lights out, Mr. Milward Adams' smile folded up and 
laid away — what shall one say of it? 

"As a social function it was an eminent success. The 
long-haired Wagnerites above-stairs add that it was a 
religion. The boy who sold 'books of de oprer' on the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 23 

outside said cynically that the music was of the future, 
perhaps, but the singers were of the past. 

"But no one agreed with him." 

The season seems to have been an agreeable one 
in spite of those who professed to look down upon opera 
as an entertainment. The best of the singers were willing 
to work hard in those days. Fischer, for example, sang 
the first three nights in succession and once or twice more 
before the week was over. And it did not seem anything 
out of the ordinary for Lehmann on the second week to 
have as diverse a program as "A Masked Ball" on 
Monday, "Fidelio" on Wednesday and "Norma" on 
Friday. These and "The Flying Dutchman" were the 
second week's added attractions. Lehmann and Fischer 
were being spoken of with increasing interest, but there 
were complaints as to the difficulty of finding adequate 
tenors. And it seems a bit amusing to find objections being 
raised to "A Masked Ball" on account of "the somber 
character of its music." "Don Giovanni" and Cornelius' 
seldom heard comic opera, "The Barber of Bagdad," 
were added on the third and final week of the engage- 
ment. 

Early in June Edouard Strauss and his Vienna or- 
chestra came for four concerts. The chronicler dutifully 
records that such works as Adam's "If I Were King" 
and Nicolai's "Merry Wives of Windsor" overtures and 
others were well played, but he, like the rest of the 
audience, fell a victim to the entrancing waltzes from the 
pens of the combined Strauss family. They are still a 
hit on the occasions when Mr. Stock puts them on the 
Chicago Symphony programs. 

About this time Mr. Adams would seem to have 



24 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

closed his office in the Auditorium for the summer, for 
he is found beginning in July at the old Exposition build- 
ing on the lake front as manager of five weeks of summer 
concerts by Theodore Thomas and his orchestra. 

Thomas had no idea of giving brief programs in 
these concerts. It was his tenth season in Chicago, and 
he opened the series with the "Meistersinger" prologue, 
continued with Schumann's "Rhenish" symphony, and 
then began to lighten up things with some of the Brahms- 
Dvorak Hungarian dances, Grieg's "Peer Gynt" suite, 
Goldmark's "Spring" overture, Philip Scharwenka's 
"Liebesnacht," one of the Liszt Hungarian rhapsodies, 
and a group of dance music by Gillet and Strauss, ending 
with the Berlioz "Rakoczy" march. This was good meas- 
ure. He was to proceed less at length when he finally got 
into the Auditorium with his Chicago orchestra. 



Ill 

For a considerable time, bookings at the Auditorium 
were more or less haphazard. The Duff company came 
back in September for three more weeks of Gilbert and 
Sullivan; when it had gone Strauss and his orchestra came 
for five farewell concerts; on October 29 the Auditorium 
organ was dedicated. Clarence Eddy was the soloist, 
assisted by Christine Nilsson, contralto, Vittorio Carpi, 
baritone, Rosenbecker's orchestra, and speeches by 
Mayor Cregier and Ferdinand Peck. Finally "Babes in 
the Wood," an English pantomime, came on November 
10 and stayed until December 20. After that there are 
references to MacLennan's Royal Edinburgh Concert 
Company, lectures on Africa by Henry M. Stanley, bene- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 25 

fit performances of various kinds. As previously noted, 
the Apollo Musical Club was now giving its concerts here, 
having begun its season with "The Messiah" on De- 
cember 26. And there was a series of popular Wednesday 
night organ concerts by Harrison Wild, Louis Falk, and 
others, each assisted by singers of repute. 

On February 17 appeared "The Soudan," an Eng- 
lish melodrama with acres of scenery and — they adver- 
tised — 500 people. If names mean anything now, the cast 
contained Henry Neville, Louise Balfe, Frank Losee, 
and the famous boy actor, Master Wallie Eddinger. It 
stayed four weeks. Then came Theodore Thomas for a 
week with his "unrivaled New York orchestra, assisted 
by the great Italian tenor, Sig. Italo Campanini." The 
last named was the brother, elder by nineteen years, of 
Cleofonte Campanini, who in later years was to do his 
part in the making of operatic history in Chicago. 

And Thomas was next fall to start the first concerts 
of Chicago's permanent symphony orchestra. On this 
visit he had Max Bendix as concertmaster and Victor 
Herbert as first cellist, and one reads that Campanini's 
voice is "still possessed of many beautiful tones," which 
somehow or other does not sound overly enthusiastic. 

An interesting advertisement appears for April 17 
and 18. It announces the only appearance of the United 
States Marine Band, John Philip Sousa, conductor, as- 
sisted by Miss Marie Decca, soprano. The Tribune critic 
did not so much as mention the name of the conductor in 
his review, but he discovered that the band as far as 
accuracy of note and purity of tone were concerned was 
nearly faultless, and that it was the perfection of band 
playing, technically considered. Then came Thomas again 



26 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

for seven popular programs, with Marie Jahn, Metro- 
politan soprano, and Bendix as soloists. 

The nearest that the Auditorium got to grand opera 
that season was during the week of May 3, when the 
Duff company, having borrowed the services of Miss 
Decca and Marie Tempest, put on "Carmen," "The Bo- 
hemian Girl," and "Mignon." From all accounts, the per- 
formances were unexpectedly good. 



IV 

Friday, October 16, 1891, is an important date in 
the life of the Auditorium, for then for the first time 
Theodore Thomas raised his baton over a magnificent 
organization known then as the Chicago Orchestra, to 
continue in constant service there almost until the end of 
his life. After his death it was known for a time as the 
Theodore Thomas Orchestra, as it was popularly if not 
technically during his lifetime. Then it became the Chi- 
cago Symphony Orchestra, but it is the same organiza- 
tion and one of Chicago's continuing glories. 

It was well thought of from the start. After the first 
Friday afternoon concert, — they called the Friday con- 
certs "public rehearsals" in those days, though there was 
nothing in the performance to indicate anything except a 
completely rehearsed program — this comment occurs : 

"In this company of eighty-six players Chicago now 
possesses an orchestral association of which its people 
may indeed be proud, and the day is only a few months 
distant when they will be able to say to the similar organ- 
izations possessed by older organizations in the East, 
'Here is your equal 1' The Chicago Orchestra is new, and 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 27 

the only shortcoming possible to find in its work is attrib- 
utable to that newness. It is a shortcoming which is un- 
avoidable, was expected, and is one for which no one 
is to be blamed. Eighty-six players, no matter how per- 
fect they may be in the mastery of their art, cannot be 
brought together and in less than a fortnight give a 
program containing four great orchestral works without 
traces of recent organization being revealed. The com- 
parative absence of such roughness was one of the most 
surprising features of yesterday's rehearsal. Theodore 
Thomas has long been known for his ability to quickly 
bring newly-formed orchestras into condition for satis- 
factory work, but in this instance he has fairly surpassed 
himself, the results being simply astonishing." 

It is not told in this account what the "four great 
orchestral works" were, except that Rafael Joseffy, the 
first soloist ever to appear with the orchestra, played the 
Tschaikowsky concerto, but there are remarks about how 
the first audience was made up mostly of "music students 
from the several musical colleges and from the thousand 
and one professors who in this city teach the young how 
to play scales and exercises." The absence of profes- 
sional musicians was noted, also the fact that there were 
several children in arms in the audience and that one 
baby furnished an audible obbligato while Joseffy was 
playing. But of the appearance of the orchestra, this: 

"The orchestra players are a fine looking lot of 
men. There are few eccentric looking geniuses among 
them such as are generally seen in an orchestra. Seidl's 
band, for instance, is made up extensively of the men to 
whom Von Bulow contemptuously refers as 'long-haired 
musicians.' Mr. Thomas' assistants wore correct after- 



28 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

noon dress — Prince Alberts and the suitable concomitants. 
Joseffy, however, brought no raiment from New York 
except an evening suit and a light gray make-up for the 
street, so he committed the glaring faux pas of appearing 
in a swallow-tail, vest, etc., before 6 o'clock in the after- 
noon. Mr. Joseffy's toilet was a matter of little im- 
portance, however, after he began to play." 

Grand opera in Italian and French was now an- 
nounced. On Monday, November 9, under the direction 
of Abbey and Grau a company appeared containing these 
names : 

Sopranos — Emma Albani, Maria Pettigiani, Ma- 
thilde Bauermeister, Emma Eames, Sofia Ravogli, Ida 
Klein, Lilli Lehmann, Marie Van Zandt. 

Contraltos — Sofia Scalchi, Jane de Vigne, Giulia 
Ravogli. 

Tenors — Fernando Valero, Paul Kalisch, Victor 
Capoul, Gianini-Grifoni, Roberto Vanni, Rinaldini, Jean 
de Reszke. 

Baritones — Jean Martapoura, Agostino Carbone, 
Antonio Magini-Coletti, Eduardo Camera. 

Bassos — Jules Vinche, Enrico Serbolini, Antonio de 
Vaschetti, Lodovico Viviani, Edouard de Reszke. 

Musical director and conductor — Sig. A. Vianesi. 

Assistant conductor — Mr. Louis Saar. 

Some of the names have dropped out of memory, 
but those remaining are enough to indicate that it was 
the beginning of what Henry T. Finck was later to call 
the golden age of music. 

They gave four performances a week. The first was 
"Lohengrin," and one is somewhat appalled to learn that 
it was sung in Italian. Evidently the proponents of opera 





Ellison Van Hoose, Tenor 
Seasons 1910-11, 1911-12 



Johanna Gadski 





Photo by Dupont 

Edouard de Reszke 



Photo by Dupont 

Jean de Reszke 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 29 

in its original tongue had not at that time attained their 
final vociferousness. But there is a record tending to show 
that the Germans in the audience shrugged disgusted 
shoulders over learning that Edouard de Reszke was 
discovered as "Enrico l'Uccellatore," or that Brother 
Jean remarked "Io t'amo" to Elsa. It was the first ap- 
pearance in America of Eames, Giulia Ravogli and the 
de Reszkes. The two men got away to a fine start, both 
being adjudged magnificent artists, but one finds a chance 
remark to the effect that Eames was "charming, but not 
a great artist," which shows how history sometimes up- 
sets first verdicts. But perhaps she was nervous on her 
first night. 

The critics liked Gluck's "Orfeo," the second per- 
formance, and the public did not, and both opinions were 
reversed on the third, when Marie Van Zandt made her 
American debut in "Sonnambula." 

The second week presented "Romeo and Juliet," in 
which the de Reszkes kept going up the scale and Eames 
began to be sincerely liked, following it with "Dinorah" 
for Van Zandt, and what amounted to an all-star cast of 
"Huguenots," the first of that variety which were to ex- 
tend through years of opera giving. Then came "Otello," 
"Rigoletto," "Faust," and "Martha," "Mignon," "Cav- 
alleria Rusticana" and "Don Giovanni," and on the final 
week the company celebrated the second anniversary of 
the Auditorium with a bill made up of the fourth act of 
"Trovatore," the fourth of "Otello," the second of "The 
Barber of Seville" and the third of "Carmen." 

The next event of interest is that on January 1 and 
2, 1892, Paderewski makes his first appearance, coming 
as soloist with the orchestra and playing the Rubinstein 



30 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

D minor concerto and the Liszt Hungarian Fantasy. 
"One leaves the presence of this mighty master of the 
pianoforte stunned by the sudden discovery of what 
seems absolute perfection — the unexpected realization of 
what heretofore had constituted an ideal." 

Patti and a small company of singers, also an or- 
chestra of fifty directed by Luigi Arditi, came back in 
February for four operatic concerts. "She is still Patti, 
the first vocalist of the world, peerless, suffering by com- 
parison with no one, save the Patti of one, two, three 
decades ago." 

There was no more opera that season. 



It was nearly two and one-half years before the 
Auditorium next saw any opera. During 1892 Chicago 
was getting ready for its Columbian exposition; in 1893 
it gave it; after its close about six months were necessary 
to sweep up the pieces. Also there was a full-sized and 
adult financial panic on throughout the country at that 
time. 

Instead of opera for 1893, Abbey, Schoeffel and 
Grau engaged the services of Imre Kiralfy to put on a 
"stupendous spectacle" called "America," a pageant- 
like representation of episodes in American history, be- 
ginning with the departure of Columbus from Spain and 
ending, of course, with the Chicago World's Fair. A 
news note tells that there was a good deal of confusion 
the first night and that the final curtain did not fall until 
after one o'clock on the morning of Sunday, April 23. 
It was later set to run between the hours of eight and 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 3 1 

eleven. In the cast are found the names, among others, of 
Louise Beaudet as Progress, and Anna Russell, later 
better known as Annie Russell, as Bigotry. 

The music of the exposition has no particular place 
here, and anyway it has been recorded at length in other 
publications. One learns with deep regret, however, that 
Mr. Thomas, who had been made musical director and 
had worked out elaborate and far-reaching plans for a 
six months' musical program, became the subject of so 
vicious an attack by Chicago business men and Chicago 
newspapers that he resigned before the fair was half 
way over. The main point of the attack was that he in- 
sisted on using his own judgment as to what was the best 
piano for his concerts and refused to be coerced into 
accepting what he thought an inferior grade whether 
manufactured in Chicago or elsewhere. In fact, one comes 
to the conclusion that the gibes at Chicago as an artistic 
center in those days were pretty well justified. 

Thomas resigned with no outcry and he never made 
a public explanation, but he was heartstricken at the 
results. To the end of his life he used to advise his inti- 
mate friends never under any circumstances, no matter 
what, to permit themselves to be made musical directors 
of any world's fair. 

On March 12, 1894, Abbey and Grau came back 
to the Auditorium with an opera company from the Met- 
ropolitan Opera House of New York for a four weeks' 
stay. The first week records the first appearance in Chi- 
cago of Emma Calve in the name part of "Carmen," 
of Sigrid Arnoldson as Cherubino in "The Marriage of 
Figaro," and of Nellie Melba as Lucia di Lammermoor, 
in company with such other first magnitude artists as 



32 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Eames, Nordica, Scalchi, Bauermeister, Jean Lassalle, 
another newcomer, Pol Plancon, still another, and the de 
Reszkes. Luigi Mancinelli was the leading conductor, and 
the Chicago Orchestra, Mr. Thomas', played. 

There can be no particular merit in showing how 
these artists were liked and how the liking warmed into 
rapture, but it is undoubtedly true that none of us now 
alive ever heard such another fine aggregation of star 
soloists in one organization. They speedily became a 
tradition, and for once a tradition was justified. 

And it continued a year later, March n, 1895, 
when almost the same company returned. The principal 
additions were the return of Tamagno and the entrance 
of the baritone who was to become famous in "Carmen," 
"The Barber of Seville," and other works, Giuseppe 
Campanari, also another famous baritone named Victor 
Maurel. And a great work, Verdi's "Falstaff," was given 
for the first time in Chicago. 

The opera was a success from the start, as well it 
might have been. This is the sort of cast it had : Maurel as 
Falstaff, Eames as Mistress Ford, Zelie de Lussan as 
Anne, Campanari as Ford, Scalchi as Dame Quickly, 
Jane de Vigne as Mistress Page, and the other parts 
distributed among Russitano, Mariani, Vanni, and Rinal- 
dini. And "Don Giovanni" used to be blessed with 
Nordica, de Lussan, Eames, Edouard de Reszke, and 
Maurel, and "Les Huguenots" with Nordica, Scalchi, 
Bauermeister, Melba, Jean de Reszke, Edouard de 
Reszke, Ancona, and Plangon. Those were the casts that 
even in those days long afterward cause envious lickings 
of lips. 

On April 15 of the same year came Walter Dam- 





Nellie Melba 



Photo by Dupont 
Lillian Nordica 





Italo Campanini 



Photo by Dupont 

Pol Plancon 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 33 

rosch, bringing with him another aggregation of notables 
for a week of Wagner. Among them were Rosa Sucher, 
Johanna Gadski, Marie Brema, Elsa Kutscherra, Max 
Alvary, Conrad Behrens, Emil Fischer, and Rudolph 
Oberhauser. "Tristan and Isolde," "Lohengrin," "Die 
Walkiire," "Siegfried," "Die Gotterdammerung," 
"Tannhauser," and "Die Meistersinger" were sung. He 
returned that fall for two weeks beginning November 18. 
Gadski, Alvary and Fischer were still in the company, 
but Katharina Klafsky and Louise Mulder were new 
sopranos, and Barron Berthald and Wilhelm Gruening 
new tenors. This time he included more than Wagner, 
putting on Beethoven's "Fidelio" and Weber's "Frei- 
schutz" in the second week. People thought that the 
last named left an agreeable if not distinguished impres- 
sion, but the rest of the repertoire was an enormous suc- 
cess, as it had been in the spring. 

On March 23, 1896, the Abbey-Grau company was 
back for two more weeks, the same bewildering crowd 
of stars as before, presenting conventional operas with 
great industry. Why go in for novelties when there was 
such a crowd of first line singers to fill the house with 
well-known, popular works? And it was always possible 
to put on an all-star cast of "Les Huguenots," and it was 
a real all-star cast. 

It was some time during this period of the world 
that Jean de Reszke got into the news columns through 
an unexpected happening in a performance. Somehow or 
other an insane man managed to get up on the stage 
during a performance of "Romeo and Juliet," and began 
to make threatening remarks and gestures. De Reszke 
drew his sword and pinned the maniac in a corner, while 



34 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the rest of the singers on the stage retreated, until the 
stage hands could get on the spot and remove him. Then 
the performance went on. 

The company was back on February 22, 1897, f° r 
four weeks, an unusually long stay, having added four 
artists to the roster, Salignac, the tenor, Litvinne, 
soprano, Herman Devries, soon to become a well-known 
Chicago singer, teacher, and critic, and an American bari- 
tone who was making a name for himself in German 
opera, David Bispham. He opened as Kurwenal in "Tris- 
tan and Isolde." 

It is a little hard to find operatic comments at this 
time, for Corbett and Fitzsimmons were training for 
their fight in Carson, Nevada, and special correspondents 
were filling the news columns with that subject. But in 
one place there is a plea against the high prices of the 
opera company, $1 to $3, the point seeming to be that 
the public should be allowed to buy standing room and 
then slip into what seats were unoccupied. It is also 
learned that Calve, Creminini and Plancon made a great 
success in BoYto's "Mefistofele," and that Massenet's "Le 
Cid," with the de Reszkes, Plangon, and Lassalle was 
something of a riot. These operas were the two novelties 
of the season. 

Evidently the protests about prices had their effect, 
for on the final week of the season the house was scaled 
from seventy-five cents to two dollars. 

Another year, or rather thirteen months, and on 
March 14, 1898, a company was present representing the 
combined resources of Walter Damrosch and Charles A. 
Ellis. One finds the names of Melba, Nordica, Gadski, 
Campanari, Fischer, Bispham, and a repertoire that was 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 35 

Italian and French on the one side and German on the 
other. 

Maurice Grau went it alone the next season. On 
November 7, 1898, he brought a company which included 
Eames, de Lussan, Suzanne Adams (new), Schumann- 
Heink (new), Sembrich, Bauermeister, Van Dyck, An- 
dreas Dippel (new), Campanari, Plancon, Adolph 
Muhlmann, and Edouard de Reszke (but not Jean). 
And still the same old operas were given. 

The opening attraction was "Lohengrin," with 
Eames, Dippel, and Bispham. But — "The great sensation 
of the evening was made by Mme. Schumann-Heink. 
Never before in Chicago have we heard a contralto with 
such splendid vocal gifts combined with such dramatic 
power." 

Ellis also desired a bit of solo management, and on 
February 13, 1899, ne appeared with Melba, Gadski, de 
Lussan, Kraus, and some others as his principal singers. 
More important is the fact that he opened his season 
with "La Boheme," and it was the first time Chicago 
had heard it. "Be it said at once that 'La Boheme' is an 
opera of unusual musical interest and value, and that its 
author proves himself a man not only thoroughly schooled 
in the technic of his craft, but a musical creator of 
ability and power." 

A little variety from the customary operatic visitants 
was afforded a month later, for on March 20 the French 
Opera Company from New Orleans paid a week's visit. 
Then on November 13 Grau returned with much the 
same company that he had brought a year before except 
that Calve was back and Milka Ternina was making her 
first appearance. Apparently she was quite a long way 



36 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

from being a success. She was billed for the opening 
night, but was ill and did not get into the casts until the 
middle of the third week. There it was found that while 
there were many impressive features to her impersona- 
tion, "vocally she left much to be desired." That fine, 
crusted old phrase never fails, and you can read almost 
anything into it that you desire. 

VI 

The French Opera Company from New Orleans had 
enjoyed their trip to Chicago so much that on March 12, 
1900, they came back, this time for three weeks. These 
were the good old days when they could play at the Audi- 
torium at a top price of $1.50 and still feel happy over 
the intake. At that, they had some works that other com- 
panies had not cared to present, Reyer's "Salammbo" 
among them. People thought well of it as a spectacle, but 
found that the music was not greatly inspired. "Sigurd," 
by the same composer, was another, and it received just 
about the same verdict. Meanwhile the Savage com- 
pany at the Studebaker was doing "Lohengrin," "Tann- 
hauser," and "The Flying Dutchman," and charging 
twenty-five cents to $1 a seat. In some respects music- 
lovers were better off at the beginning of this century, 
and the cost of attendance was one of them. 

For some time the more expensive companies had 
been passing Chicago by. Christmas eve of 1900 the Audi- 
torium reopened to Henry W. Savage's "Metropolitan 
English" opera company, and it, too, was a $1.50 show. 
Running in competition with the same manager's com- 
pany at the Studebaker though it did, it came for two 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 37 

weeks with a repertoire that included "Aida," "The 
Bohemian Girl," "Carmen," "Mignon," "Lohengrin," 
"Faust," and "II Trovatore." Some of the singers were 
Grace Van Studdiford, Zelie de Lussan, Grace Golden, 
Kate Condon, Phoebe Strakosch, Fanchon Thompson, 
Lloyd d'Aubigne, Joseph Sheehan, Homer Lind, and 
Clarence Whitehill. 

Newspaper accounts hold that it was an honest com- 
pany, paying much attention to balance and good en- 
semble, just as the Castle Square Company had been 
doing in smaller dimensions. As a matter of fact Colonel 
Savage did more for the cause of opera in English than 
any one else, because he did things instead of talking 
about them, and he kept on presenting opera in English 
until the public proved that it would have no more of it. 

"Esmerelda," by A. Goring-Thomas, was the com- 
pany's novelty. It was founded upon Victor Hugo's 
"Notre Dame," but at that time people took an ex- 
tremely moral position on their opera going, as this com- 
ment illustrates: 

"The book ... is repulsive and unnatural in the 
extreme — a tale of licentiousness and deep-dyed villainy 
that would put to blush the most lurid melodrama. . . . 
The opera patron must, therefore, need forget the li- 
bretto's worthlessness and worse if he would know the en- 
joyment the music can give. Not that the music is at any 
time strikingly dramatic or unusually powerful. It is 
merely melodious, well-made music, showing the hand of 
a composer whose gifts include refinement, taste, and a 
creative talent which while undeniably able, did not rise 
to the greatness of genius." 

Mr. Grau held out a forgiving hand for the bad 



38 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

business his company had done during its last few visits, 
and came in for a week on April 22, 1901, bringing with 
him such notables as Melba, Ternina, Fritzi Scheff, 
Bauermeister, Louise Homer, the de Reszkes — Jean, re- 
turning at this time, had been in bad health for some time 
and had stayed for a couple of seasons in Europe — Plan- 
con, Dippel, Marcel Journet, and Antonio Scotti, and 
during the week he gave Chicago its first view of 
"Tosca." Ternina had the name part, and there are 
stories to the effect that the second act of the opera as 
done by her and Scotti gave the audience a thrill and 
started a riot of applause such as was not to be equaled 
till Titta Ruffo came years afterwards. 

March 31, 1902, came the same delectable crew, 
except Melba and Jean de Reszke, but there were such 
additions as Sembrich, Gadski, and Schumann-Heink. 
There was a mishap the first night, for Emilio de Marchi, 
who was singing Radames in "Aida," went hoarse part 
way through the performance, and the audience had to 
be sent home without hearing the final scene. He was still 
hoarse on the second night — apparently Grau economized 
on understudies — and "Tosca" had to be changed to 
"Tannhauser." But Calve came along in "Carmen," and 
Gadski, Schumann-Heink, Van Dyck, Bispham, Edouard 
de Reszke did great things in "Lohengrin," and then 
on Thursday night "The Magic Flute" was given "with 
the following phenomenal cast" : Sembrich, Gadski, Ter- 
nina, Homer, Bridewell, Scheff, Dippel, Campanari, 
Reiss, Miihlmann, Edouard de Reszke. Putting that ad- 
jective on that cast does not look like an overstatement. 
Grau thought so well of it that he raised the prices from 





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FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 39 

$3.50 to $5 and charged $2 for standing room, and the 
box office reported receipts of $15,000. 

Another interesting item of this season shows that 
on April 5, 1902, the first and only performance in 
Chicago of Paderewski's opera, "Manru," was given. 
Sembrich, Homer, Scheff, a new tenor named Von Ban- 
drowski, Miihlmann, Blass, and Bispham were in it and 
Damrosch conducted. The reviews speak of a common- 
place and ponderous book, but give high praise to the at- 
tractive qualities of the music. However, it was never 
given again in Chicago. 

It was an ambitious if brief season. The second week 
Grau put on the complete "Ring des Nibelungen," the 
first time that it had been done in Chicago as a cycle, and 
it received casting of a high order, too. One finds the 
names of Ternina, Eames, Scheff, Schumann-Heink, Van 
Dyck, Blass, Dippel, Reiss, Bispham, and Damrosch con- 
ducting. It was a fine week for the Wagnerites. 

Saturday and Sunday nights, December 20 and 21, 
1902, are dates that will be remembered by a few. Per- 
haps Pietro Mascagni is one of them, for he appeared at 
the Auditorium in person to direct his "Cavalleria Rusti- 
cana," filling in the extra time with a concert program 
that had bits of "Iris," the "Hymn to the Sun," and 
various other excerpts. From all accounts he had come 
to this country expecting an enormous success, which, 
however, did not turn out as desired. Later in the season 
he appeared as conductor in a concert organized for his 
benefit. At one time and another since then he has been 
quoted as saying things not entirely enthusiastic about 
America. This tour may have been one of the causes. At 



40 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

any rate, his singers left him in Chicago after the De- 
cember dates and sailed back to Italy. 



VII 

Grau paid his last managerial visit to Chicago in 
the two weeks beginning Tuesday, April 7, 1 903. He 
opened his season with the double bill of "The Daughter 
of the Regiment," with Sembrich, Salignac, and Gilibert, 
followed by "Pagliacci," with Scheff, Alvarez, Scotti, and 
Reiss. For the rest of the week there were "'Die Wal- 
kiire," "Die Meistersinger," and "Tristan and Isolde," 
also "Faust" and "Aida," and among the important 
names in addition to those of the opening night were 
Gadski, Nordica, Schumann-Heink, Homer, Burgstaller, 
Anthes, Van Rooy, Bispham, and Edouard de Reszke. 
Mancinelli and Alfred Hertz were the principal conduc- 
tors. 

For the second week they added "Don Giovanni," 
"A Masked Ball," "Siegfried," a double bill of "Don 
Pasquale" and "Cavalleria Rusticana," "Le Prophete," 
"The Magic Flute," and "Gotterdammerung." Running 
through the reviews, it is seen that all the German per- 
formances were considered great, and some of the others 
were passed as fair. Elsewhere one discovers that on the 
last afternoon in "The Magic Flute," Fritzi Scheff and 
Campanari made a great hit in the "Pa-pa-pageno" duet, 
and that the audience went on applauding even after 
Mme. Sembrich began to sing. 

She halted abruptly and left the stage — and the 
house. Then Scheff and Campanari gave the demanded 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 4 1 

encore of their duet. But Sembrich did not reappear, and 
the closing ensemble was cut. 

For the next five years the visits of the Metropolitan 
company to the Auditorium were to be under the man- 
agement of Heinrich Conried. The first was of two weeks 
beginning March 14, 1904. Conried was no such spend- 
thrift as Grau in casting operas, but he gave Chicago 
audiences their first view of Aino Ackte and Olive Frem- 
stad, and the company that year had Calve, Ternina, and 
Plancon as returning joys, and Sembrich, Homer, and 
Gadski among the holdovers. Felix Mottl and Gustav 
Hinrichs appeared among the conductors. 

And in the next season, one brief week beginning 
March 20, 1905, he introduced no less a personage than 
Enrico Caruso the first night and presented "Parsifal" 
the second. 

Caruso appeared as Edgardo in "Lucia di Lammer- 
moor" to the Lucia of Sembrich, and it would seem to be 
perhaps the second time on record when the famous so- 
prano ever had the show taken away from her. The first 
has just been told. There are words about Caruso's 
auburn wig and black mustache, his short stature and 
stocky build, his air of good nature and bonhomie. But 
of his voice, this: 

"Enrico Caruso sings just as nature prepared him 
to sing. Art and study may have done something toward 
fashioning and developing the material given him, but 
nature 'placed' his voice and he sings accordingly. The 
voice is of exceptional sympathy and beauty — the love- 
liest voice heard in this country since Campanini was in 
his prime. It is a voice similar in pure tenor quality to 
that of Campanini, and, while possessing all of the lyric 



42 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

charm which made the latter's voice unique in the operatic 
world, has even more power and intensity in the express- 
ing of the dramatic." The summary is by W. L. Hubbard. 

In "Parsifal," up to that time the private property 
of Baireuth, the performance began at 5:10 in the after- 
noon and the first act ran until 6:55. Then there was an 
intermission of two hours for dinner, and the second and 
third acts ran until about 1 1 '.4.0. Nordica, Burgstaller, 
Van Rooy, Blass, Goritz, and Journet were in the cast, 
and Hertz conducted. They charged $7, an unheard-of 
price in those days. 

Under the circumstances it is a little difficult to get a 
complete estimate of the performance. The cast was ad- 
mittedly excellent, but the supposedly semi-sacred char- 
acter of the work seems to have hampered frank expres- 
sion of opinion. It was not until later days that people 
could admit without feeling sacrilegious that Gurnemanz 
was one of the greatest old bores ever put into a music 
drama, and this in spite of the fact that elsewhere in the 
score Wagner put some of his finest music. But even on 
the first performance there is a bit of complaint over how 
the flowermaidens kept their eyes too tightly fixed on the 
conductor's baton. What neither audience nor critics knew 
was, on the authority of Havelock Ellis, that on the first 
performance in Germany, Wagner came to the theater 
in company with a keg of beer, in other words, spiritu- 
ality allied itself with spirituousness. 

Caruso sang "Pagliacci" and "Gioconda," and the 
company did another "Parsifal," a daytime performance 
from 1 1 130 to 5 :20, and in the evening put on Johann 
Strauss' "The Bat." There was an operatic combination 
that was a combination ! During the week the company 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 43 

took in something over $80,000, up to that time the 
largest amount of operatic business for one week in the 
history of opera in Chicago. 

It was in the autumn of 1904 that Theodore Thomas 
and his orchestra moved out of the Auditorium. Ever 
since 1891 he had been there, directing superb concerts, 
fighting a good fight for the world's best music, develop- 
ing the musical sense of Chicago as he alone could have 
done it at that time. 

Like many other interesting events in the musical 
life of Chicago, the story of how Orchestra Hall came 
into being does not belong here. But it was Thomas' 
supreme dream, and he accomplished it. His life was a 
climax. He fought on until he reached its top. He saw 
Orchestra Hall built, he inaugurated its concerts with his 
great orchestra, and then he laid down his baton forever. 
His death from pneumonia occurred January 4, 1905, 
but his orchestra lived on. Since his passing, his place has 
been magnificently filled by a great musician and great 
conductor, Frederick Stock. His life, his aims, his ambi- 
tions are a whole romance in themselves, and Mr. Stock, 
with much the same sort of idealistic mind, but a more 
modern one, has seen to it that Chicago was impelled 
to step forward in its knowledge and appreciation of fine 
music. It is what Thomas would have desired. We who 
know and love Stock as a personality in music realize the 
wisdom of the Orchestral Association of Chicago in ap- 
pointing him to his position. 

Another week of opera, beginning April 2, 1906, 
opened with "The Queen of Sheba," sung by Edyth 
Walker, Marie Rappold, Bella Alten, Heinrich Knote, 
Van Rooy, Blass, and Muhlmann. It was free from sen- 



44 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

sational features, but "Faust" the second night was sung 
by Eames, Caruso, Scotti, and Plangon, and it packed the 
house. It was then that Caruso became known as a car- 
toonist, having furnished sketches of Conried, Hertz, 
Scotti, and himself to go into the newspaper pictures. 
"Don Pasquale," "Hansel and Gretel," "Lohengrin," 
"Carmen" — sung by Olive Fremstad and Caruso, and 
considered spiritless — "Tosca," "Martha," and "Lohen- 
grin" completed the week. 

Chicago was destined to have two weeks of opera 
in 1907, the first by the San Carlo Company beginning 
February 18, and second by Conried starting April 7. 
This San Carlo company was not the one that exists at 
present, although bearing the same name. It was directed 
by Henry Russell, who in a couple of years was to take 
the chief post of the Boston Opera Company. In its names 
we find Nordica, Alice Nielsen, a recent graduate from 
the operettas of Victor Herbert, Fely Dereyne, Florencio 
Constantino, a young Spanish tenor who became greatly 
liked, Riccardo Martin, a young American tenor later 
with the Metropolitan and Chicago forces, Campanari, 
the Spanish basso, Andres de Segurola, and a number of 
others now almost entirely out of sight. Prices ran as high 
as $2.50 for the best seat. 

The performances were good, but with more per- 
sonal successes for individual members than distinctive 
steps forward in the art of giving opera. But when Con- 
ried's company got here it presented Chicago with its 
first view of Geraldine Farrar in "Madame Butterfly," 
and there was a new Italian baritone, Riccardo Stracciari, 
who was to have a number of appearances at the Audi- 
torium, these in addition to Fremstad and Eames and 











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FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 45 

Schumann-Heink, and Caruso and Scotti and Plangon and 
the other notables. 

"Miss Farrar clearly is an artist who thinks, and the 
number of such is so small that an addition to the ranks 
is subject for sincere rejoicing. Her Butterfly last evening 
proved a veritable dramatic portrayal. Thought and in- 
telligent care had been expended on its every part, and 
a characterization beautifully rounded and consistent, 
logical and clean cut was the result." 

January 20, 1908, the San Carlo returned, this time 
for three weeks. The company was much as before ex- 
cept that the names of Mmes. Olitzka and Claessens are 
added to the contraltos, Jane Noria to the sopranos, and 
Victor Maurel to the baritones. Again there were per- 
sonal successes. 

And Conried did another week from April 20, the 
most interesting item of which was Mascagni's "Iris" 
which not even the efforts of Eames and Scotti were able 
to save from derision. 



VIII 



In George L. Upton's "Musical Memories" he gives 
a summary of operatic matters in the Auditorium up to 
this point. As a matter of interesting reference, his table 



Opening Date 
Dec. 10, 1889 
March 10, 1890 
April 21, 1890 
Nov. 9, 1 89 1 

March 12, 1894 



Company Season 

Abbey, Schoeffel, and Grau 4 weeks 

Abbey, Schoeffel, and Grau 1 week 

Metropolitans German 3 weeks 

Abbey, Schoeffel, and Grau 5 weeks 

Abbey, Schoeffel, and Grau 4 weeks 



4 6 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Opening Date 


Company 




Season 


March 


ii, 


1895 


Abbey, Schoeffel, and 


Grau 


3 


weeks 


April 


15, 


1895 


Damrosch 




1 


week 


Nov. 


18, 


1895 


Damrosch 




2 


weeks 


March 


23, 


1896 


Abbey, Schoeffel, and 


Grau 


2 


weeks 


Feb. 


22, 


1897 


Abbey, Schoeffel, and 


Grau 


4 


weeks 


March 


14. 


1898 


Damrosch and Ellis 




2 


weeks 


Nov. 


7, 


1898 


Maurice Grau 




3 


weeks 


Feb. 


13, 


1899 


Ellis Opera 




2 


weeks 


March 


20, 


1899 


New Orleans French 


Opera 


1 


week 


Nov. 


13, 


1899 


Maurice Grau 




3 


weeks 


March 


12, 


1900 


New Orleans French Opera 


3 


weeks 


Dec. 


24, 


1900 


Savage Metropolitan English 


2 


weeks 


April 


22, 


1901 


Maurice Grau 




1 


week 


March 


3i, 


1902 


Maurice Grau 




2 


weeks 


Dec. 20-21, 


1902 


Mascagni 


2 per 


: ormances 


April 


7, 


1903 


Maurice Grau 




2 


weeks 


March 


14, 


1904 


Conried 




2 


weeks 


March 


20, 


1905 


Conried 




I 


week 


April 


2, 


1906 


Conried 




I 


week 


Feb. 


18, 


1907 


San Carlo 




I 


week 


April 


7, 


1907 


Conried 




I 


week 


Jan. 


20, 


1908 


San Carlo 




3 


weeks 


April 


20, 


1908 


Conried 




1 


week 



This was the end of Mr. Upton's compilation. Dur- 
ing its course he counted up 278 performances of seventy- 
nine different operas, grand and light. For the saving of 
space and time the dates of first performances and the 
number of times each was performed may be omitted, 
but the operas themselves were these: 

"Romeo and Juliet," "William Tell," "Faust," "II 
Trovatore," "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Aida," "Semir- 
amide," "Martha," "Huguenots," "Traviata," "Son- 
nambula," "Otello," "Barber of Seville," "Pinafore," 
"Mikado," "Pirates of Penzance," "L'Africaine," "Lin- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 47 

da," "Lakme," "Salammbo," "Tannhauser," "Meister- 
singer," "La Juive," "Lohengrin," "Masked Ball," "Fly- 
ing Dutchman," "Fidelio," "Queen of Sheba," "Norma," 
"Barber of Bagdad," "La Poupee," "Don Giovanni," 
"Walkiire," "Iolanthe," "Trial by Jury," "Patience," 
"Carmen," "Bohemian Girl," "Orpheus," "Dinorah," 
"Rigoletto," "Mignon," "Cavalleria Rusticana," "Phile- 
mon and Baucis," "The Basoche," "Marriage of Figaro," 
"Hamlet" (fourth act), "Pagliacci," "Werther," "Fal- 
staff," "Tristan and Isolde," "Siegfried," "Freischutz," 
"Gotterdammerung," "La Navarraise," "Mefistofele," 
"Le Cid," "La Boheme," "La Favorita," "Sigurd," 
"Manon," "Esmerelda," "Tosca," "Magic Flute," 
"Manru," "Rheingold," "Daughter of the Regiment," 
"Don Pasquale," "The Prophet," "The Elixir of Love," 
"The Gondoliers," "Parsifal," "La Gioconda," "Fleder- 
maus," "Hansel and Gretel," "Madame Butterfly," 
"Robin Hood," "Serenade," "Iris." 

Which of these do you think was the most popular, 
as shown by the number of performances? You are right, 
it was "II Trovatore," which was given thirty-eight times 
in that period. It was followed closely by "Carmen," 
with thirty-seven. The light opera, "Pinafore," comes 
next with thirty-two, "Lohengrin" and "Cavalleria Rus- 
ticana" tie with twenty-seven, "Huguenots" has twenty- 
two, and there is another tie with twenty each for "Aida" 
and "Robin Hood." 

There was a good deal of theatrical but non-operatic 
activity during the greater part of the 1908-09 season. 
Among the names appearing in the advertisements were 
"50 Miles from Broadway," the policemen's benefit show 
of that season, Richard Carle, Andrew Mack, Gertrude 



48 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Hoffmann, Victor Moore, "The Newlyweds," the Zieg- 
feld Follies, the Burns-Johnson fight pictures, and "The 
Shepherd King." Finally on April 12, 1909, F. Wight 
Neumann took over the house for two weeks for the 
Metropolitan Opera Company under his own local man- 
agment. This time the Metropolitan manager was Giulio 
Gatti-Casazza, just entering upon his long New York 
career. 

High among the announcements were those of the 
first Chicago appearances of "the eminent Italian con- 
ductor, Arturo Toscanini," and of "the Bohemian so- 
prano, Emmy Destinn, who probably claims first in pub- 
lic curiosity." They both appeared on the opening night 
in "Aida." The orchestra was considered ideal. Mme. 
Destinn, although "an unfortunately chosen makeup 
robbed her of the personal beauty which is said to be 
hers," with black braids of hair that "marred her facial 
charm and made her figure seem misshapen," made a 
great hit by the beauty of her singing. Homer was the 
Amneris, and the public had a chance to get acquainted 
with Giovanni Zenatello as Radames, Pasquale Amato as 
Amonasro, and Adamo Didur as Ramfis. "Die Meister- 
singer" came up on the second night with Karl Joern as 
Walther and Gadski as Eva, both destined to appear to- 
gether on the same stage in Wagnerian opera — though 
not in the Chicago company — exactly twenty years later, 
and both still going strong. In the same edition of the 
newspapers appears a report that Caruso was in danger 
of losing his voice, and a statement from Mary Garden 
that the story of her quarrel with Oscar Hammerstein 
was entirely unfounded. And Geraldine Farrar repaid to 
Mrs. Bertram Webb of Salem, Mass., the last install- 




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FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 49 

ment on a loan of $34,000 advanced to her over a period 
of ten years for her musical education. Mme. Destinn 
closed her own engagement here by appearing in the first 
Chicago performance of Smetana's "The Bartered 
Bride." And on Sunday the audience paid $18,000 to 
hear "Parsifal." Fremstad, Anthes, Amato, Allen 
Hinckley, Otto Goritz, Herbert Witherspoon, Homer 
and Muhlmann were some of the cast, and Hertz con- 
ducted. 

Turn now to January and April, 19 10, the last dates 
with which this foreword is concerned. On January 10th 
the newly organized Boston Opera Company, Henry 
Russell, director, paid a two weeks' visit to the Audi- 
torium, and as it turned out, the only time it ever came 
to Chicago. Here were Nielsen, Maria Gay, and Con- 
stantino, and here also were two greatly talented Rus- 
sians, Lydia Lipkowska and Georges Baklanoff, both 
newcomers. 

Lipkowska made her first appearance in "Lakme," 
which had not been heard since Patti did it twenty years 
before. She was a ravishing singer with considerable 
knowledge of how to act, and consequently she was a 
great success. But the talked-about individual that night 
was Thamara de Swirsky, as she called herself then, who 
did a series of solo dances after the opera. The audience 
was pretty well what they used to call agog, because she 
was the first of the epidermic school of dancers that had 
appeared here. And she was abundantly so. 

The visitors from Boston sang well, acquitted them- 
selves in a seemly manner in all respects, and went on 
their way with the good wishes of all. Then on April 4 
came the Metropolitan to stay four weeks and never 



50 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

again to appear in Chicago. It was a lavish, not to say 
riotous display that they gave, the most liberal outpour- 
ing of vocal resources in their history before or since. 
The reasons became evident later. 

Here were a few of the leading artists of that 
season: Destinn, Nielsen, Alda, Gadski, Farrar, Hidalgo, 
Gluck, Alten, Fremstad, Homer, Maubourg, Sparkes, 
Caruso, Martin, Bonci, Slezak, Amato, Scotti, Cam- 
panari, Segurola, Pini-Corsi, Gilly, Didur, Soomer, Blass, 
Muhlmann, Jadlowker, Clement, Whitehill, Joern, 
Goritz, Hinckley, Reiss, with Toscanini and Hertz lead- 
ing the corps of conductors. Even with the marvelous 
old-timers of the nineties all gone, it was an extravagant 
crew to get together in one company. 

There are still memories of Slezak in "Otello" and 
"Aida," of the glorious "Meistersinger" that Toscanini 
conducted, of Hertz's "Parsifal," of many other good 
things too numerous to mention. In fact that four weeks 
averaged grand opera with a pronounced accent on the 
grand. 

Of course such an organization could not expect to 
make money. The list of singers shows how ruinous it 
must have been. But a wonderful time was enjoyed by 
all who attended. 

It completed the first or preliminary half of what 
Mr. Peck had tried to make the Auditorium mean. Now 
was to come a time when it was even more closely identi- 
fied with Chicago and its interests. Wherefore one now 
turns to a new chapter and begins a new phase of musical 
life in Chicago. 




o 




CHAPTER I 

In 19 io Chicago developed operatic growing pains. 
For sixty years previous, beginning in 1850, opera in 
Chicago had consisted merely of such visits to the city 
as traveling companies chose to give. The Metropolitan, 
as has been seen, used to come to the Auditorium in the 
spring for two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, what it 
was thought the city could stand as an operatic orgy. 

That was all. It was not enough in the minds of 
certain Chicagoans. Chicago had had its own symphony 
orchestra for nearly two decades. Founded by Theodore 
Thomas and continued after his death, January 4, 1905, 
by Frederick Stock, it had taken rank in the minds of 
those who knew as one of the noteworthy orchestral or- 
ganizations of the country and of the world. Besides, 
Boston, in addition to having its own great orchestra, had 
begun operations with its own opera company. Where- 
fore, said the same certain Chicagoans, it is time for 
Chicago to show some operatic activity: let us then go 
out and make a few artistic gestures of our own. 

A set of fortuitous circumstances aided them. A ter- 
rific battle for the operatic control of New York had 
been going on for three or four seasons. Oscar Hammer- 
stein, he of the silk hat, the spade beard, and the cigar 
making machinery, had built the Manhattan Opera House 
and organized the Manhattan Opera Company, with the 
avowed intention of putting the Metropolitan out of busi- 

51 



t& 



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52 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

ness, and the Metropolitan was equally avowed in its in- 
tention of not being put out of business. 

The giants fought tooth and nail; they raised a furi- 
ous uproar in the columns of the newspapers; they spent 
money as the press agents say money is being spent in 
Hollywood to-day. Hammerstein organized a brilliant 
company which gave New York its only real view of 
French opera up to that time, and Italian opera almost 
as glamorous. The Metropolitan concentrated on Italian 
and German opera, engaging every singer of note that 
could be engaged. 

Mary Garden made her first operatic appearances 
in America with Hammerstein. John McCormack was a 
member of the Manhattan, so were Maurice Renaud and 
Hector Dufranne and Gustave Huberdeau; the Metro- 
politan had Caruso and Slezak and Gadski and Scotti, to 
name only a few offhand of the forces of either. Ham- 
merstein brought Cleofonte Campanini to this country to 
be his chief conductor; the Metropolitan took delight in 
Arturo Toscanini. 

It was a wonderful row while it lasted and a time of 
deep and abiding joy for all beholders. Probably never in 
the history of the world had there been such a chance to 
observe so many fine operatic performances so lavishly 
cast or so brilliantly performed. Competition was the life 
of operatic trade just then; it was also the cause of gal- 
loping tuberculosis in operatic bank accounts. 

The last time that the Metropolitan company visited 
Chicago, which was in the month of April, 19 10, its 
Italian and German wings were actually two companies. 
This is not in the least an exaggeration. There were two 
sets of principals, two choruses, two complete orchestras, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 53 

two sets of conductors, Toscanini at the head of one, 
Alfred Hertz leading the other. In effect there were even 
two general directors, though these bore different titles, 
Giulio Gatti-Casazza and Andreas Dippel. 

It is true that Toscanini used to conduct some Ger- 
man operas in addition to his Italian list, as he has done 
with marvelous effect ever since, glory to .his eloquent 
baton ! His dealings with "Die Meistersinger" have never 
been forgotten in Chicago even after all these years. It 
is also true that Slezak would be an ideal Walther in the 
same "Meistersinger" and then raise the roof with his 
Radames in "Aida," a few nights later, and that Gadski, 
primarily a Wagnerian soprano, had a list of splendid 
Italian roles in her repertoire. But in practice if not in 
theory, the Metropolitan was a double company. 

Such a fight could have only one result. The war 
chest of the Metropolitan was deeper than Hammer- 
stein's, and finally the brilliant Oscar had to succumb. 
The Manhattan Opera Company went out of existence 
at the end of the season of 19 10. Among Hammer- 
stein's articles of capitulation was a signed agreement to 
keep out of operatic activities in New York for a period 
of ten years. The Manhattan forces were without finan- 
cial or artistic leadership, and the Metropolitan had 
about twice as many people as it needed. It was Chicago's 
chance. 

Probably if Hammerstein's money had not run out, 
he would have been fighting yet. Though he never in- 
cluded Chicago in his scheme of operations, and though 
his passing was the biggest single item in the formation 
of the Chicago Opera Company, I, for one, always re- 
gretted his passing, if for no other reason than that he 



54 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

was the most picturesque figure in the operatic history of 
our times. He had the imaginative soul of the creative 
artist, he dearly loved a fight, and he was the only one of 
his time or since whose tongue was warranted to be 
quicker than Mary Garden's. A former New York re- 
porter once told me that when he and a few of his fellows 
were out on their day's rounds and unable to turn up 
anything interesting in the way of news, they made a con- 
stant practice of dropping in at the Manhattan to call on 
Hammerstein. They generally came away with something 
worth printing, and it was frequently worth printing on 
the front page. It was he who used to say, "Praise me if 
you can; roast me if you must; at any rate mention me." 
If he did not invent the theory, he believed in it and acted 
upon it. Publicity was frankly his life's blood. 

One year Miss Garden got into a row with him, 
walked out and sailed for Europe before the season was 
over, giving out an interview at the dock saying that she 
was leaving because Hammerstein had treated her worse 
than a chorus girl. The reporters, with praiseworthy 
curiosity, marched straight up to the Manhattan Opera 
House to find out what Hammerstein had in the way of 
a comeback. He had one. This was it. Oscar took a puff 
of his cigar, grinned, pushed back his silk hat, and said: 

"Miss Garden has no right to say that I treated her 
worse than a chorus girl. I never treated her worse than 
a chorus girl or even like a chorus girl. Miss Garden owes 
me $5,000 at this moment, and no chorus girl that ever 
lived was ever able to do that to me." 

With his passing, the decks were clear for the or- 
ganization of a new company, and a committee of promi- 
nent Chicagoans and New Yorkers put themselves to the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 55 

task of the formation of the Chicago Grand Opera Com- 
pany. The Chicagoans were there because they wanted 
the company. The New Yorkers joined them because they 
were desirous of sitting on Hammerstein's operatic grave 
and seeing for themselves that he staged no resurrection. 

For he was dangerous at any time, likely to make 
a flank movement at the precise moment in which he was 
supposed to be most thoroughly licked. Having built 
opera houses in Philadelphia and London in addition to 
the Manhattan, he was in a fair way to develop the habit, 
and he nearly gave the crowd heart disease by threaten- 
ing to build one in Chicago. 

Whether he really had such an idea, or whether it 
was just one of his highly complex jokes, will never be 
known, but he came to Chicago, accompanied by two 
associates, Max Rabinoff and Ben. H. Atwell, and, trailed 
by a group of reporters, he drove around the city all day, 
pausing here and there to inspect possible building sites. 
He even went over to the lake front to survey a huge 
heap of stone, the remains of a building just torn down, 
measuring blocks and jotting down figures in a note book. 
As a bit of pantomime calculated to produce jumpy nerves 
in unfriendly beholders, it was an act that never has been 
surpassed, but nothing more came of it. 

The first board of directors of the company was a 
long one. It included the names of Frederick W. Bode, 
Richard T. Crane, Jr., Charles G. Dawes, Robert Goelet, 
George J. Gould, Frank Gray Griswold, Frederick T. 
Haskell, Charles L. Hutchinson, Otto H. Kahn, Philip 
M. Lydig, Clarence Mackay, Harold F. McCormick, 
John J. Mitchell, Ira Nelson Morris, LaVerne W. 
Noyes, Max Pam, Julius Rosenwald, John C. Shaffer, 



$6 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

John G. Shedd, Charles A. Stevens, Harry Payne Whit- 
ney, and H. Rogers Winthrop. 

Out of these was formed an executive committee 
with Mr. Mackay as chairman, Mr. Shaffer vice-chair- 
man, and Messrs. Kahn, Dawes, Rosenwald, Shedd, 
Whitney, and Winthrop as other members. The officers 
of the new company read thus: Harold F. McCormick, 
president; Charles G. Dawes and Otto Kahn, vice-presi- 
dents; Charles L. Hutchinson, treasurer, and Philip M. 
Lydig, secretary. Andreas Dippel was released from the 
Metropolitan to become general manager, Cleofonte 
Campanini was appointed general musical director, and 
Bernhard Ulrich business manager. 

The roster of the company makes interesting read- 
ing after a lapse of years. Maestro Campanini, being 
general musical director, was also first conductor. The 
other conductors were Attilio Parelli, Ettore Perosio, 
and Marcel Charlier. The stage director was Fernand 
Almanz. The stage manager was Joseph C. Engel, who 
had served through the Hammerstein regime and was 
one of the few persons able to claim continuous member- 
ship in the Chicago company from its foundation to his 
death on July 2, 1928. One of his assistants was Carlo 
Muzio, whose fame is mostly vicarious, since he was the 
father of Claudia Muzio, too young at that time to have 
begun the career that has made her name known to the 
opera goers of three continents. 

The other assistant stage manager was Sam Katz- 
man, the chorus master was Pietro Nepoti, the ballet 
master Luigi Albertieri. The Chicago company, you see, 
started in fully equipped, even to its ballet, and with a 
premiere danseuse named Esther Zanini. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 57 

The list of principal singers was rather startingly 
long for a new company. It would seem almost over- 
lavish in these days, though it had the addition of several 
famous guest-artists. For the Chicago company started 
its operations by being able to invite guests of high de- 
gree to take part in its performances. Like a good many 
other good things, the system fell into disuse as years 
went on, registering among the many things that might 
make opera seasons more stimulating but that are not 
being done. 

At any rate, here is Chicago's 19 10 roster of artists: 

Sopranos — Marie Cavan, Suzanne Dumesnil, Min- 
nie Egener, Geraldine Farrar (guest from the Metro- 
politan Opera), Johanna Gadski (guest from the Met- 
ropolitan Opera), Mary Garden, Lillian Grenville, 
Jeanne Korolewicz, Marie La Salle-Rabinoff (guest), 
Lydia Lipkowska (guest from the Boston Opera), Nellie 
Melba (guest), Carmen Melis, Jane Osborn-Hannah, 
Mabel Riegelman, Serafina Scalfaro, Marguerita Sylva, 
Carolina White, Alice Zeppilli. 

Mezzo-sopranos and contraltos — Clotilde Bressler- 
Gianoli, Tina di Angelo, Eleanora de Cisneros, Giusep- 
pina Giaconia, Rosa Olitzka (guest), Ferrari Pattini, 
Marian Walker. 

Tenors — Amadeo Bassi, Enrico Caruso (guest from 
the Metropolitan Opera), Florencio Constantino (guest 
from the Boston Opera), Charles Dalmores, Jean Del- 
parte, Francesco Daddi, Mario Guardabassi, John Mc- 
Cormack, Emilio Venturini, Edmond Warnery, Nicola 
Zerola, Dante Zucchi. 

Baritones — Wilhelm Beck, Alfredo Costa, Armand 
Crabbe, Desire Defrere, Hector Dufranne, Nicola Fos- 



58 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

setta, Maurice Renaud (guest from the Boston Opera), 
Mario Sammarco, Antonio Scotti (guest from the Met- 
ropolitan Opera). 

Bassos — Nazzareno de Angelis, Vittorio Arimondi, 
Berardo Berardi, Gustave Huberdeau, Pompilio Mala- 
testa, Constantin Nicolay, Michele Sampieri. 

With the exception of the guests, these, as has al- 
ready been indicated, were mostly from the Hammerstein 
company, with a few accretions from the Metropolitan 
and other sources. The scenery, costumes, musical scores, 
and various other physical odds and ends going toward 
an operatic season, had been bought in a mass — and at 
panic prices — after the collapse of the Manhattan com- 
pany. After years of fighting on one front and months 
of planning on another, everything was now ready. 

And so on the evening of Thursday, November 3, 
19 10, the curtain of the Auditorium went up, and 
Chicago stepped out with its own opera company. 

Those who came discovered that the interior of the 
house had been considerably rebuilt. As a result of that 
frightful calamity, the fire in the Iroquois theater sev- 
eral years before, a new set of building and fire regula- 
tions for other theaters had gone into effect. One item 
forced upon the Auditorium was the building of a fire- 
proof wall through the middle of the second floor 
promenade. In order to overcome this effect, a line of 
boxes, afterwards to become two lines, had been built 
across the rear of the main floor, thus converting the box 
tier into a veritable horseshoe. In later years and in 
another opera house, the boxes were to be at the rear 
only, but at the birth of Chicago's first opera company 
the boxes extended along both back and sides. 



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FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 59 

Everythings had been freshened and redecorated. 
Everything was in festal array; every one was in festal 
mood. Lights went down; spirits went up; Chicago met 
its opera company. 



CHAPTER II 
AIDA 

Opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi. Presented 
by the Chicago Grand Opera Company at the Audi- 
torium, Chicago, Nov. 3, 1910. The cast arranged 
as follows: 

The King Berardo Berardi 

Amneris Eleanora de Cisneros 

Aida Jeanne Korolewicz 

Radames Amadeo Bassi 

Ramfis Nazzareno de Angelis 

Amonasro Mario Sammarco 

Messenger Dante Zucchi 

Priestess Mabel Riegelman 

Incidental dances by Esther Zanini and Corps de 
Ballet 

General Musical Director. . .Cleofonte Campanini 

Talk about the event of the season ! Never was there 
such an event or such a season. Chicago took its opera, 
and took it hard. The newspapers fairly turned over their 
whole editions to the opening: the critics evolved ad- 
jectives by the thousand, special writers searched their 
souls for descriptions of the glory of the occasion, pic- 
tures of the artists were printed all over the place, and 
society editors wrote descriptions of costumes by the run- 
ning foot. It was a grand and uplifting time, and no one 

60 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 6 1 

with the least charity in his heart grudged any of the par- 
ticipants the good time that they had. 

As memory goes back nearly a score of years, it was 
a pretty good performance at that. "Aida" is the best 
festival opera ever written, and recollections are still 
vivid of the way Campanini used to lift the roof with 
soloists, chorus, orchestra, and stage band in the triumph 
scene. This one was a real triumph, and the applause that 
went up at its end made any services of a claque entirely 
unnecessary. Of course no American opera company ever 
had a claque — officially: any opera manager will tell you 
that. But this was a time when it was absent in reality. 

The curtain was raised and raised again, and the 
singers bowed until every one lost count of the calls. 
Campanini was greeted with approving shouts, but 
speech-making in English was never in his line. He merely 
waved his arms in the directions of the vocal and instru- 
mental participants. The single speech of the evening was 
made by Andreas Dippel, and he dove into the recesses 
of an opera hat to find his notes. 

It was polite, tactful and brief, concluding, "I am 
not alone in speaking for myself, but in the name of our 
general musical director, Cleofonte Campanini, and on 
behalf of our artists and staff, in stating to you who are 
present and to those who in the future may lend their 
support to the Chicago Grand Opera Company that we 
all promise our most sincere and earnest efforts to make 
its success as great as possible." Then every one in the 
audience settled back to take an admiring look around 
and answer the questions of reporters, for every one with 
the least degree of artistic or social prominence was inter- 
viewed that night. 



62 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

"It's splendid — I never saw the opulence of the 
East better staged than right here," said Arthur Meeker. 
"Not one feature is lacking. The artists are splendid, the 
costumes and scenery brilliant and magnificent," said 
Philip M. Lydig. "There is no question of the entire suc- 
cess of the Chicago Grand Opera Company, especially 
from an artistic standpoint," said Max Pam. Some of the 
reporters, for want of anything better to do, interviewed 
as many artists as they could get hold of, though in this 
case the interviewees were even more unanimous than all 
the rest. One might imagine in their remarks a not wholly 
unworthy desire to retain recently acquired jobs. 

And just about this time the newspapers began to 
talk about the desirability of having opera in English, a 
durable and undying topic, shared by every one except 
those whose function it is to buy tickets and make opera 
in English commercially possible. 

In the foreword this account has already gone back 
to the opening of the Auditorium. That in many ways was 
even more picturesque. One reads in ancient newspaper 
files of how on December 9, 1889, "the orator of the 
evening in eloquent language sized up the Parthenon, the 
Pyramids, and the Acropolis with the Auditorium and 
found them shy." Some of the remarks on that historic 
occasion really deserved to be made permanent, as when 
Governor Fifer stated that "we have passed in half a 
century from the warwhoop of the savage to the ravish- 
ing strains of a Patti." Or when Mayor Cregier delivered 
himself of this: 

"Permit the eye, that masterpiece of nature's work, 
to survey the outlines of this grand structure, and we 
shall see everywhere in trained symmetry and art the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 63 

children of that noble and ancient science — Geometry!" 
Chicago undoubtedly considered itself a bit too so- 
phisticated by 19 10 to permit any one to get away with 
such empyrean-assaulting oratory as clogged the air at 
the dedication of the Auditorium. But the dedication of 
the opera company was sufficient of an event for it to 
seem desirable for a little time to allow the dust to settle. 
Not much time was allowed, however. The Auditorium 
was dark on the next — Friday — night, but on Saturday 
afternoon a new page of operatic history went onto the 
presses. 

PELLEAS ET MELISANDE 

Lyric drama in five acts by Claude Debussy. Pre- 
sented for the first time in Chicago by the Chicago 
Grand Opera Company at the Auditorium, Nov. 
5, 1 9 10. The cast is as follows: 

Pelleas Edmond Warnery 

Golaud Hector Dufranne 

King Arkel Gustave Huberdeau 

Little Yniold Suzanne Dumesnil 

A Physician Armand Crabbe 

Melisande Mary Garden 

Genevieve Clotilde Bressler-Gianoli 

General Musical Director. Cleofonte Campanini 

Yes, the first time in Chicago of the Debussy music- 
drama, the first, since the times, years before, when she 
had sung in church and, perhaps, student concerts, of 
Mary Garden. Here was a direct provocation for more 
columns of newspaper space. But if "Ai'da" had been a 
festival, not to say a three-ring circus splurge of opera, 



64 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

"Pelleas et Melisande" was something to exhaust all 
their wisdom upon. 

And didn't we treat it seriously in those days? We 
wrote thousands of words explaining just what it was that 
Debussy meant and how he got that way; we, at least 
some of us, spelled his name with a capital B, thus, De 
Bussy. There was even a noble effort to consider the 
score as "fourth-dimension music" until some one came 
to the conclusion that none of the auditors had been pro- 
vided with fourth-dimension ears, and we would have to 
consider it with the ears that nature had provided us. 
Then we gradually got acquainted with it, and discov- 
ered, perhaps with some amazement that, unfamiliar 
idiom as it was at that time, it was a persuasively fasci- 
nating, elusive three hours of music, phantoms in blue 
darkness, entirely lacking in anything to be carried away 
from the theater in the way of theme or tune, but entirely 
enjoyable, and not in the least unsolvable. 

It is true that "Pelleas et Melisande," revived every 
once in a while through the history of the company, never 
became a best-seller of operatic wares, but Mary Garden 
promptly did, and began the process that Saturday after- 
noon. 

Ever since then there have been two camps in all 
opera seasons, those for whom Miss Garden can do no 
wrong, and those who are never satisfied with anything 
she does. Between the two, the person who tries to be 
reasonable and analytical, to estimate her position in her 
various roles, gets simply nowhere. He might as well 
retire and keep his thoughts to himself. 

It can be admitted that she never scorned the artful 
aid of newspaper publicity. For years a Garden interview 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 65 

has been a newspaper feature. She always managed to 
say the right thing at the right time to get it printed. 
An old newspaper man once said that if Miss Garden's 
taste had led her to newspaper work instead of opera, she 
would have been the most famous newspaper woman the 
world had ever known, because she had an unfailing eye 
for a vivid feature. 

So, browsing among the newspaper clippings of the 
first weeks of the opera season one discovers that Miss 
Garden had brought something new in a Paris skirt to 
Chicago; that somewhere in the offing was a Turkish 
pasha to whom she was engaged — he was never heard of 
after the first season — ; that she thought Chicago was 
"rotten" and the suffragettes worse; that she disapproved 
of cigarettes ; that she left a theatrical performance — 
Fritzi Scheff in "The Mikado" — rather than comply with 
an usher's request to take off the broad-brimmed, plumed 
Chinese pagoda of a hat which was the mode at that 
time, and that she stated in print — with a picture of her- 
self and the offending hat appended — "Take off my hat? 
Why, the idea ! I would not take off my hat for the King 
of England unless I just felt like it." Considering the 
quite large amount of competition she had at that time, it 
was going quite a bit for a few weeks. 

But she was booked for some famous operas that 
first season, and she gave some superb performances. 
There was "Pelleas et Melisande," there was "Louise," 
there was "Thais," most of all, there was "Salome." By 
the side of the Garden accomplishments the other events 
of that season seem almost inconsiderable, though they 
were not. Carolina White began on the course that led 
to her rapid rise and more rapid decline; John McCor- 



66 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

mack was then an opera singer, only indicating at occa- 
sional Sunday concerts the manner with songs that after- 
wards made him the best known and best loved concert 
singer of two hemispheres; Melba visited the company as 
a guest-artist, so did Farrar, and so, for the first and last 
time, did Caruso. Incidentally, one reads in one review, 
"The public seems to have lost interest in Puccini's opera, 
'Tosca.' " Remember, if you please, that this was written 
eighteen years ago, and remember also what Garden, 
Raisa, Muzio, and several others, to go no further than 
the ranks of the Chicago Opera, have done in it since 
then. One grows humble about pronouncing judgments 
when one goes over back files of the newspapers. 

LOUISE 

Musical romance in four acts by Gustave Char- 
pentier. Presented for the first time in Chicago at 
the Auditorium, Nov. 9, 1910. 

The Father Hector Dufranne 

The Mother Clotilde Bressler-Gianoli 

Louise Mary Garden 

Julien" Charles Dalmores 

and about forty more, with Campanini conducting 

It was the second novelty of the season, and it put 
French opera and Miss Garden into considerably more 
popularity. "Pelleas et Melisande" had been puzzling, 
but "Louise" was fascinating. Miss Garden left off being 
a wraith and became an uncommonly human sort of a 
being. 

"Louise," the opera, was a stroke of genius, anyway. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 67 

For once in his life Charpentier was touched with flame 
when he conceived the idea of putting the voice of a city 
into music. In fact whenever any one strolls around Paris 
as a sightseer, he is more likely to think of "Louise" than 
anything else, certainly more than of "Andrea Chenier," 
of "Manon," or the other operas that make Paris their 
background. 

In fact cities have definite voices. There is a place up 
on the hill of Naples, close to the old museum, where you 
can stand late in the afternoon and hear the sound of all 
Naples, voices, songs, the chatter of children, dogs bark- 
ing in the distance, an occasional obbligato of a tram 
wheel squeaking on a curve. Next to attending a good 
performance of "Louise," it is one of the most fascinat- 
ing experiences of the world. No composer has ever got 
around to working out a similar idea for an American 
city, though the voice and philosophy of an American 
city is quite as definite as that of a European one. Of 
course, an important part of the "Louise" plot hinges on 
the purely legal question of the parents' permission as a 
preliminary to marriage, a matter not looming quite so 
large in these United States, so a different sort of plot 
would have to be devised in case Chicago or New York 
or New Orleans were chosen as a subject. At the same 
time, the atmosphere of "Louise" is considerably more 
important than its plot, and the musical treatment of the 
voice of a city is a fascinating idea. 

When they first began to give "Louise" in Chicago, 
they had the rag pickers and artists and old clothes man 
and street peddlers that play so large a part in that great 
scene in the second act, but they also included a scene 
almost as good, the dressmaking atelier. When the piece 



68 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

was revived some years later, this scene was omitted, and 
no amount of pleading has ever been able to cause its 
subsequent inclusion. It was a great mistake, because the 
scene was a beautiful one, and its excision was a deform- 
ing surgical operation. 

However, these were early times when people were 
willing to give a great piece in all its greatness, and Miss 
Garden, Mr. Dalmores, and most particularly Mr. Cam- 
panini were important people in Chicago by virtue of the 
performance. Chicago began to want to revive its former 
title of the Garden City and transform it into the Mary 
Garden City. Whereupon Miss Garden took to herself 
another full page of publicity in one of the Sunday news- 
papers in which her most important pronouncement 
seemed to be that the worst thing about the American 
girl is her voice, and the worst thing for her voice is 
chewing gum. She also told how she was going to learn 
the principal part for Puccini's coming novelty, "The Girl 
of the Golden West," but this she did not do, as will be 
told later. 



CHAPTER III 

Having bemused Chicago with the misty wistfulness 
of "Pelleas et Melisande" and set it cheering with the 
romantic realism of "Louise," it next became the show- 
man's duty of Mr. Campanini, Miss Garden, and some 
of their associates of the opera company to afford a bit of 
a shock, and this is what they proceeded to do. Here is 
the event that touched off the fireworks heard for weeks 
pretty well around the United States, with a few reper- 
cussions from Europe. 

SALOME 

Musical drama in one act. Book by Oscar Wilde. 
Music by Richard Strauss. Presented by the Chi- 
cago Grand Opera Company in the Auditorium, 
Chicago, Nov. 25, 1910. The cast: 

Salome Mary Garden 

Herodias Eleanora de Cisneros 

Herod Charles Dalmores 

Jokanaan Hector Dufranne 

Narraboth Edmond Warnery 

Page of Herodias Giuseppina Giaconia 

First Jew Jean Delparte 

Second Jew Emilio Venturini 

Third Jew Francesco Daddi 

Fourth Jew Dante Zucchi 

Fifth Jew Berardo Berardi 

First Nazarene Gustave Huberdeau 

69 



70 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Second Nazarene Desire Defrere 

FrRST Soldier Armand Crabbe 

Second Soldier Constantin Nicolay 

A Cappadocian Nicola Fossetta 

A Slave Suzanne Dumesnil 

General Musical Director. . .Cleofonte Campanini 

And what a row there was ! Here was a topic of con- 
versation good for weeks to come. All that had been said 
for, against, and about the Chicago Opera was stolid, 
tongue-tied silence compared to what arose over "Sa- 
lome" and its ways. The critics wrote about it by the run- 
ning foot — they did over everything operatic in those 
days — newspaper space has become a scarcer commodity 
since — and most of them found themselves in the predica- 
ment of trying to carry water on two shoulders. 

Miss Garden had not only made an enormous hit 
with her previous roles, but had established a warm and 
entirely sincere admiration for herself as a many sided 
artist. In one case it had even gone to this comment: 
"That she should have consented to introduce herself to 
Chicago in the role of Melisande is in itself a convincing 
testimonial to the refinement, the pure beauty, of her 
artistic ideals." 

So here they were, committed to the future of the 
Chicago Opera as a public institution, as was eminently 
proper, convinced in any event because the Chicago Opera 
was accomplishing notable things, liking and admiring 
Miss Garden, and yet confronting her in a piece that 
really shocked most of them, if for no other reason than 
its sheer physical, half-insane realism. I wonder if any 
one remembers one of the lesser shivers of the piece in 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 7 1 

the scene where the executioner descends into the cistern 
to cut off Jokanaan's head. In that passage Strauss de- 
creed that the double bass players in the orchestra should 
press their strings close up to the bridge and saw away 
with their bows, producing a sound strangely like that of 
a knife slithering off from a bone. That was merely a 
minor incident in a piece that had plenty of greater ones. 
So the next day the papers were full of double-bar- 
reled remarks about its being great art but — , a magnifi- 
cent performance but — , it was horrifying but — , with 
many variants and a few disquisitions on the true nature 
of art and morals. Curiously enough, the best account of 
Miss Garden's performance was written not only by a 
musical but a dramatic critic, Percy Hammond of the 
Tribune, who also was present at the first performance. 
Or perhaps it was not curious at all, since he had not 
committed himself beforehand. At any rate, this is what 
he wrote : 

Miss Garden as a Dramatic Artist 

"It is said by those proficient in the criticism of 
both arts that it is Miss Garden's genius as an actress 
rather than as a singer which constitutes her the feminine 
colossus who doth bestride our operatic world. Be that 
as it may, there can be no doubt that her impersonations 
of Maeterlinck's shadowy Melisande and Wilde's mon- 
strous Salome indicate the possession of an amazingly 
comprehensive power to act. 

"Of course as the 'curieuse et sensuelle' lady of 
Wilde's creation with its brutal, voluptuous, sensational 
perversions and abnormalities the opportunity for effec- 



72 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

tive unrestraint is limitless. The sheer sensationalism of 
temperament unleashed is enough to make the Salome 
performance easily the more notable popularly. 

"But it is as the elusive Melisande that Miss Gar- 
den's instinct, intuition, or genius is most impressively 
denoted. There she is, to the eye at least, the fragile 
marionette of Maeterlinck's idea — a will-less creature, 
moving through a drear dream, expressing absolutely 
the Fleming's sense of the mystery and pathos of man's 
'little life in the midst of the immensities' — the puppet 
of nature and destiny. Even those who regard 'Pelleas 
et Melisande' as a morbid and stygian pollution of the 
drama may see in Miss Garden's acting this difficult de- 
tachment — peculiarity difficult for a young woman so 
splendidly flesh and blood. 

"Wilde dreamt his Salome to be like Titian's paint- 
ing. 'Her lips disclose the boundless cruelty of her heart,' 
he wrote; 'her splendor is an abyss, her desire an ocean; 
the pearls on her breast die of love; the bloom of her 
maidenhood pales the opals and fires the rubies, while 
even the sapphires on her fevered skin lose the purity 
of their luster.' 

"Like Huysmans, he imagined her 'strewn with 
jewels, all ringing and tinkling in her hair, and her ankles, 
her wrists, her throat, inclosing her hips, and with their 
myriad glitter heightening the unchastity of her unchaste 
amber flesh.' 

"With this authoritative prospectus Miss Garden 
seems privileged to indulge in much burning detail, and 
so she does. The velvet seductiveness in her wooing of 
Jokanaan; the pantomime of her scorpion fury as a 
'woman scorned'; the venomous, insistent cruelty of the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 73 

reiteration 'Give me the head of Jokanaan,' are incredibly 
real. At the cistern the impatient rage of the cry, 'Well, 
I tell thee there are not dead men enough!' freezes with 
its dire import. She is a fabulous she-thing playing with 
love and death — loathsome, mysterious, poisonous, slak- 
ing her slimy passion in the blood of her victim. 

"A large order for a timid artiste, but timorousness 
is not among Miss Garden's characteristics. From the 
moment she beholds the 'ivory prophet,' gazing on him 
with hot and hungry stare, on through the passion mad- 
dened scenes to the hideous finish, where, huddled over 
the head, she dies, Miss Garden makes no polite conces- 
sions. She is Salome according to the Wilde formulary — 
a monstrous oracle of bestiality. Even when Dalmores 
indulges in his realistic frenzies of drunken hysteria as 
Herod, and Salome stretches like a sphynx, silent and 
immobile upon a couch, it is still Salome who rivets the 
eye and mind. But it is simply a florid, excessive, unham- 
pered tour de force, lawless and inhuman. Any extrava- 
gance almost harmonizes with the scarlet picture. As an 
exhibition it outshines Miss Garden's Melisande, but as 
acting there is no comparison." 

But no account of what Miss Garden did in "Salome" 
can so much as faintly mirror what "Salome" did to 
Chicago. The first thing any one knew, we were all mixed 
up in a rather comic tempest over its morality. Some one 
had written a protest in advance of the performance to 
Arthur Burrage Farwell, president of the Chicago Law 
and Order League; he had forwarded the protest to the 
then chief of police, Leroy T. Steward, and Col. Steward 
attended the first performance. His comments on it upset 
the kettle. As quoted in the newspapers, they were: 



74 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

"It was disgusting. Miss Garden wallowed around 
like a cat in a bed of catnip. There was no art in her 
dance that I could see. If the same show were produced 
on Halsted street the people would call it cheap, but 
over at the Auditorium they say it's art. Black art, if 
art at all. I would not call it immoral. I would say it is 
disgusting." 

For once, Miss Garden was reduced to speechless- 
ness. The reference to a cat and a bed of catnip was a 
little too much for her, and who can blame her? A 
few days later she announced that Mr. Steward and she 
did not speak the same language nor think the same 
thoughts — happily. She added: "I always bow down to 
the ignorant and try to make them understand, but I 
ignore the illiterate." 

After all, this did not seem to be in Miss Garden's 
most pointed style, but the rest of Chicago and a good 
part of the middle west took it up and plunged into the 
fray, whether they had attended and formed opinions 
or not. Chicago theaters were having a periodic cleansing 
at that time anyway. A play called "The Nigger" at 
McVicker's Theater fell under the ban for handling an 
unpleasant subject in an unpleasant way, and a minor 
vaudeville performer was notified to blue-pencil some of 
his lines. So "Salome" fell into the same sort of trouble. 

A second performance was given a few nights later, 
wherein the ticket scalpers cleaned up quite a harvest, 
and a third was announced. By this time, however, the 
storm was rising high. Scores of people had been inter- 
viewed and had expressed themselves for or against, 
an evangelist took a couple of shots at it during a revival 
meeting, and even Pat Crowe, the central figure in the 




Photo by Mofjett 
Mary Garden as Fiora in "The Love of Three Kings" 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 75 

Cudahy kidnapping case of a few years before, and at 
that time a mission speaker himself, had his say. 

Mr. Farwell announced: "Mary Garden as Salome 
is a great degenerator of public morals. 

"Performances like that of 'Salome' should be 
classed as vicious and suppressed along with houses in 
the red light district. 

"I wish Miss Garden would come to see me; I 
should like to reform her. 

"I am a normal man, but I would not trust myself 
to see a performance of 'Salome.' 

"Arthur Burrage Farwell, 
"President Chicago Law and Order League." 

Miss Garden responded: "Any one whose morals 
could have been corrupted by seeing 'Salome' must al- 
ready have degenerated. 

"Performances of 'Salome' should be inspiring to 
the right-minded and objection to them shows ignorance 
and narrow-mindedness. 

"I should like to meet Mr. Farwell to see what he 
is like, but I do not think he could do me any good. 

"Mr. Farwell evidently hasn't much strength of 
character if he would not trust himself to see 'Salome.' 
"Mary Garden, 
"Portrayer of Salome in Grand Opera." 

Then it was suggested that Miss Garden "tone 
down" her Dance of the Seven Veils, which she strenu- 
ously refused to do. Finally the directors ordered the third 
performance withdrawn, and "Salome" went into the si- 
lence, to be heard no more until Miss Garden became gen- 



76 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

eral manager of the company. Mr. Dippel stated that 
owing to objections, the management thought it best to 
withdraw the piece. Miss Garden renewed her protest, and 
said that Chief Steward had a "low mind." Col. Steward 
announced that the piece was "vulgar and repulsive, not 
fit for a respectable public to witness." Mr. Dalmores 
was "shocked" at the withdrawal. Mme. de Cisneros said 
that the chief of police had made Chicago a place of 
ridicule of the civilized world. At last Oscar Hammer- 
stein in a telegraphed interview from New York said: 

"If they'd put some flannel petticoats and things on 
Miss Garden, that might help tone things, too. Mary 
really ought to be petticoated, I think, considering Chi- 
cago's climate. You know, when she worked for me, she 
had a deadly fear when singing 'Salome' of getting cold 
feet." 

In the meantime Milwaukee and St. Louis were 
feeling their own vibrations. The Chicago company had 
been invited to go to both places and present the work. 
There were religious objections, aldermanic obstacles, 
and continued invitations on the part of the citizenry. 
Finally the company went, presented the opera — and was 
never invited to repeat it. 

But it was a wonderful and joyous row while it 
lasted. 



CHAPTER IV 

"Salome" was finally removed, the official statement 
being to the effect that it was not because of prejudice 
nor of crusade, but because there had been a falling off 
in the demand for seats. This was as diplomatic a way 
out as any. Of course there have been other operas for 
which no particular public demand was manifested which 
were not taken off on that account, though a failure to 
buy tickets always and rightly weighs heavily with 
operatic managements, no matter what the artistic ele- 
ment may believe. 

The best advertised performance of the season was 
thus out of the way, but several other items showed 
themselves well above the surface. Geraldine Farrar 
came on from the Metropolitan to do Cho-Cho-San in 
"Madame Butterfly," likewise Antonio Scotti to do 
Sharpless, both to the high delight of the beholders. She 
was a heavenly artist in the part in those days. Mr. 
Scotti is still performing the part of the consul, and 
doing it just about as well as he did then. He used to 
set the pace for the whole Sharpless tribe, also the 
Scarpia of "Tosca," until Georges Baklanoff came along 
and fixed his own standard. 

Johanna Gadski, another guest, came to do ATda in 
the opera of the same name, a performance mainly 
notable at this distance because Nicola Zerola, the tenor 
of the performance, donned mustache and goatee in 

77 



78 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

plausible imitation of Chief Steward as part of his 
makeup for the part of Radames. 

Baklanoff, by the way, had been anticipated as one 
of the guests from Boston. He had been one of the most 
interesting members of the Boston Opera Company 
when it made its first and last visit to the Auditorium 
the January before. But about this time he got into a 
row with Henry Russell, the manager of the company, 
and was discharged. According to newspaper accounts, 
the best evidence available at this time, he had been cast 
for Iago in "Otello" for the Boston performances, but 
about this time Mario Sammarco did a little guesting 
from Chicago to Boston, and was promptly billed for the 
part. Baklanoff went on strike as regards his own role in 
"La Habanera," and Russell wired to Dippel that 
Baklanoff had been discharged "owing to outrageous 
breach of discipline." 

He was therefore an absentee, but Lydia Lipkowska 
and Florencio Constantino came on from the Boston 
company to appear together in "Lucia di Lammermoor." 
Miss Lipkowska was a coloratura soprano of much 
skill, and, like many another Russian singer, had some 
definite ideas about how to inject acting values into even 
the most venerable operas. Mr. Constantino, since de- 
ceased, was a good bit of a tenor personality in his time, 
immensely proud of his own muscular development, and 
rejoicing in his ability to sing many kinds of parts, dra- 
matic or lyric. He used to do them well, too. 

Nellie Melba paused in Chicago long enough to sing 
Mimi in "La Boheme" with a purity and certainty that 
sounded miraculous. Her contribution to the press 
agentry literature of the year was a story to the effect 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 79 

that she bore with her some $500,000 in jewels in a 
handbag, and that the chief detective of the Congress 
Hotel nearly developed a nervous breakdown before she 
was safely on her way again. The newspapers used to 
print such things. 

Miss Garden came to bat again with the first per- 
formance in Chicago of Massenet's "Thais." The critics 
found that the "Meditation" was an instance of high 
musical inspiration and wagged wise heads over the fact 
that thrills were strangely lacking in Miss Garden's per- 
formance. However, it promptly became one of her best 
sellers, operatically considered, and remained so for a 
period of years even up to now. Meanwhile there began 
to be word of the coming novelty, "The Girl of the 
Golden West." This was one of the most interesting 
experiments ever tried by the Chicago Opera Company 
in all its history, mainly as demonstrating that with the 
best intentions in the world the manufacturers of grand 
opera are sometimes quite unable to foretell public taste. 

For several years Puccini had been casting about 
for the right kind of a libretto, knowing well that the 
Puccini vogue was dependent partially upon the unfailing 
Puccini flow of suave, juicy, singable melody, but also 
upon the selection of an unfailingly popular drama as 
libretto. Witness, for instance, "La Boheme," "Madame 
Butterfly," and "Tosca." He had read and rejected a 
number of plays. Finally in "The Girl" he and his ad- 
visers thought they had hit on the right answer. 

Here was a play that had gone under the hands of 
David Belasco to a big American hit, with a reasonably 
romantic story and packed full of supposedly accurate, 
at any rate theatrically effective, western color. Where- 



80 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

fore Puccini set himself to composing a score, and as 
soon as it was off the presses all plans were made for an 
almost simultaneous opening in New York and Chicago. 
Puccini himself came to New York to oversee the re- 
hearsals; Tito Ricordi, head of the Milan music pub- 
lishing firm, came to function similarly in Chicago. Weeks 
of rehearsals went on, mostly behind closed doors. 

Miss Garden had been mentioned as the Girl and 
had declined the part, alleging her unfamiliarity with 
the Italian language, and meanwhile, with a grouch still 
smoldering over the fate of "Salome," had told how she 
would never sing in Chicago again, but would go to 
Paris and then to Russia — but she didn't. The New York 
Evening World quoted her as saying: "Don't forget that 
I love America and Americans. They made me what I 
am, and while I have criticized Chicago, I have not 
criticized all Chicago people, and Chicago is not all of 
America by a damned sight." Then she made up for 
it by telling a Chicago reporter that Carolina White 
was the finest possible selection for the Girl, that she 
was a singer of remarkably fine voice and a woman of 
unusual beauty, that as the Girl she would be a perfect 
success and that the role would carry her to fame at a 
bound. At that, it came near to working out just about 
that way. 

Meanwhile the plot was being printed here, leading 
musical themes there, Mr. Ricordi was announcing to a 
waiting world that Miss White was a wonder, Miss 
White was responding in terms of what a later slang 
would have translated into "so is your most recent nov- 
elty," explaining that it was truly American, full of the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 8 1 

breath of life, and a relief from old style conventions. 
Finally it came to performance. 

THE GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST 

Libretto by G. Zangarini and C. Civinini on play 
by David Belasco; music by Giacomo Puccini. Pro- 
duced at the Auditorium, Dec. 27, 19 10, by the Chi- 
cago Grand Opera Company with this cast: 

Minnie Carolina White 

Dick Johnson Amadeo Bassi 

Jack Rance Maurice Renaud 

Nick Francesco Daddi 

Ashby Nazzareno de Angelis 

Sonora, Miner Hector Duf ranne 

Trin, Miner Edmond Warnery 

Sid, Miner ., Nicola Fossetta 

Bello, Miner Michele Sampieri 

Harry, Miner Dante Zucchi 

Joe, Miner Emilio Venturini 

Happy, Miner Berardo Berardi 

Larkens, Miner Pompilio Malatesta 

Billy Gustave Huberdeau 

Wowkle Clotilde Bressler-Gianoli 

Jake Walace Armand Crabbe 

Jose Castro Constantin Nicolay 

The Pony Express 

Rider , Desire Defrere 

Once again pages of reviews and general jubilations, 
but unfortunately just a trifle artificial. For somehow or 
other "La Fanciulla del Ouest" did not deliver all that 
was expected of it. It is easy to look back now and see 
that continuous dialogue was too much of a handicap for 
Puccini's golden melody, and that this was its greatest 
fault. But the play did not translate operatically. One 






82 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

hears that it was popular for a long time in Italy, where 
it was regarded as a faithful transcript of early Ameri- 
can life, but in America the opera patrons began to laugh 
at it, and worse, stay away from it. They were amused 
at the operatic miners who wore pistols on the wrong 
side of their belts. They derided the idea of a bartender 
pouring out drinks for his customers and being permitted 
to escape with his life. They rejoiced at the "Alio" and 
"Eep, eep, urra," with which the piece was plentifully 
punctuated, and when it came to the beautiful and stately 
Miss White pulling four aces out from her garter in the 
poker game with the sheriff, their emotions were too deep 
for tears. 

In other words, illusion came off second best, and 
while grand opera is one's notion of no place to expect 
illusion, at the same time one might have been let down 
a bit more easily. The famous poker game, by the way, 
was being burlesqued about that time by the Weber and 
Fields company of experts as a game of checkers played 
with lumps of coal for the black pieces and soda crackers 
for the whites, and Minnie used to win the game by 
diverting the sheriff's attention and then eating the 
crackers. 

Of all the participants, Mr. Renaud and Miss 
White came out by far the best. Once more it seems 
advisable to quote from Mr. Hammond's account of the 
performance rather than from the musical critics. 

"Mr. Renaud's impersonation of the sheriff," he 
said, "is an accurate transcript of that of Mr. Keenan, 
the creator of the role, showing the sinister exterior and 
the burning passions underneath most vividly. He is less 
austere and his dress less effective than the original, but 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 83 

for grand opera he is a marvel of realism, save when 
intercepted by a song. 

"Miss White is pictorially more than enough as the 
Girl, and, besides, she projects the crude, honest nature 
of the character if she does not altogether realize it. 
She seems to lack the personal spark which turns interest 
into fascination, the magnetism which transforms faults 
into virtues. But she sings, which is more than Miss 
Blanche Bates did, and one may not expect everything, 
even from a prima donna. Mr. Bassi's road agent is 
ingenue, a tenor bandit who would be more at ease in 
purple tights and a plumed hat. Some way or other a 
top note does not sound well when emanating from a sup- 
posedly desperate person in leather pants and a flannel 
shirt. And in the last act they do a most cruel thing to 
him. They tie his hands and ask him to sing." 

One pauses here for a reflection on the refining in- 
fluence of opera as shown in an item from the St. Louis 
Globe-Democrat. During these ten weeks the company 
used to make trips on off nights to Milwaukee and St. 
Louis, and under the date of Jan. 4, 191 1, the Globe- 
Democrat proudly points this out: "During the two 
nights of grand opera, police and detectives have not 
made a single arrest, nor has there been an arrest for 
violating the traffic law." 

The season was nearly at an end. It gave a final flash 
when Caruso came from New York to give two per- 
formances, one as Canio in "Pagliacci," the other as 
Dick Johnson in "The Girl." Both were worthy of the 
occasion. Caruso always was the Canio of Canios, and 
as the Italo-American bandit he had had the personal 
instruction of Belasco for the New York production of 



84 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the Puccini piece. It was rather astonishing to see the 
difference he made in it. No one had ever accused Caruso 
of being an actor in any way comparable with his golden 
voice. It was as a singer that he had melted hearts. But 
Belasco had taught him how to walk through the part 
with some degree of credibility, to touch some of the 
high spots if not all of the subtleties, above all, to avoid 
as many as possible of the operatic absurdities. Where- 
fore, although Renaud had left the company and gone 
back to Boston, leaving the Sheriff's part to Sammarco, 
who by the way was only a brief interval behind him in 
ability, the Caruso performance of "The Girl of the 
Golden West" stands out in memory as being consid- 
erably better than the first one. 

Unfortunately it was the last time that Caruso ever 
appeared at the Auditorium. At the close of the season 
in Chicago, the company moved on to Philadelphia, 
where for a period of weeks it was to be known as the 
Philadelphia-Chicago Grand Opera Company, and where 
incidentally it got unmercifully roasted. The trip east 
was broken by a pause at Cleveland, where Caruso sang 
another "Pagliacci." But there or on his way back to 
New York he caught a violent cold which removed him 
from active operatic circulation for some little time. 
From that time on an edict admitting of no change went 
forth from the Metropolitan forbidding Caruso to do 
any further gadding to other opera companies. It was 
not till toward the end of his life that he came again, 
and this time only in song recitals, immensely profitable 
to him, apparently equally pleasing to his audiences, but 
at the same time not opera. 

During this first season of Chicago's own grand 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 85 

opera, its patrons had witnessed sixty-three regular per- 
formances, one gala performance, eight orchestral con- 
certs on Sundays with Campanini conducting and one 
Sunday song recital. Twenty-one different operas were 
presented. "Thais" was given six times; "Aid a," "The 
Girl of the Golden West" and "I Pagliacci" five times; 
"La Tosca," "Rigoletto," "Pelleas et Melisande," 
"Louise," "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "The Tales of 
Hoffmann" four times; "La Boheme," "Carmen," 
"Faust," "Madame Butterfly" and "II Trovatore" three 
times; "La Traviata" and "Salome" twice and "Lucia 
di Lammermoor," "Masked Ball," "Otello" and "Les 
Huguenots" once. Two special ballet performances also 
were given. 

During the Philadelphia season, the company gave 
ten Friday night performances in Baltimore and ten Tues- 
day night performances and one special Saturday per- 
formance in New York City. Two performances were 
given in Milwaukee during the Chicago season and St. 
Louis had the company for five performances, three 
evenings and two matinees. 



CHAPTER V 

Ten weeks is hardly enough of a season for which 
to organize a company of such dimensions as the Chicago 
Opera, but ten weeks was all that in the consideration 
of the promoters Chicago could absorb. More time and 
other communities became necessary, which was why 
Philadelphia was picked out. There were some interest- 
ing bits of history during the few seasons that Philadel- 
phia was included as an integral part of the company's 
operations, but it seems desirable to confine this account 
chiefly to what was done at the Auditorium with only 
passing mention of what went on elsewhere. 

At the end of the 1910-11 season there are indica- 
tions in the newspapers that Philadelphia was maintain- 
ing an attitude of considerable indifference to the opera 
company, even though its own name was appended to the 
company's title, and that it was likewise displaying some 
unwillingness to assuming its share of the financial burden. 
These difficulties were gradually straightened out, it was 
finally settled that for the second year Philadelphia's 
season was to be split, a few weeks before and a few 
weeks after the ten weeks in Chicago, and meanwhile 
Chicago began to prepare for its own second season. 

With all the good will in the world, there was some 
glamour about the first season of the company that 
was difficult to preserve on a permanent basis. Possibly 
this was sensed in operatic quarters, for one begins to 

86 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 87 

note increased activity among the press agents, official 
and private. Arguments began to creep into print as to 
why hitherto unknown singers from small middle west 
communities should not be received with the same ac- 
claim as artists with established reputations in Europe 
and America. 

This was a fairly harmless occupation, performing 
the several functions of filling space in the newspapers, 
keeping the name of the Chicago company before the 
public, and pleasing the ones whose future performances 
were to be so greeted — perhaps. More interesting is the 
fact that the shops and department stores began to dis- 
play operatic consciousness. Women's opera, party, or 
theater costumes began to be advertised, also imported 
wraps, theater bonnets, and the like, and one slightly 
naive advertisement explained how many men utilize a 
"Full Dress Suit," capitals and all, only on rare oc- 
casions, wherefore this particular establishment was pre- 
pared to furnish in large black type men's full dress suits 
of high quality for $35, and in considerably smaller type 
other dress suits at prices upward to $100. 

Finally on Nov. 22, 191 1, the Auditorium curtains 
pulled aside for the first performance of the second 
season. It was Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah." The 
cast: 

Delilah Jeanne Gerville-Reache 

Samson Charles Dalmores 

The High Priest Hector Dufranne 

Abimelech Armand Crabbe 

An Old Hebrew Gustave Huberdeau 

A Philistine Messen- 
ger Emilio Venturini 



88 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

First Philistine Joseph Demortier 

Second Philistine Desire Defrere 

Premiere Danseuse 

Etoile Rosina Galli 

General Musical Director. Cleofonte Campanini 

Here were two newcomers, Mme. Gerville-Reache, 
since deceased, but a beautiful contralto in her day, and 
Signorina Galli, who began to give point and brilliancy 
to the ballet section of the company. Miss Galli remained 
with the company two years and then went to the Metro- 
politan in New York, being greeted on her arrival there 
by an enraptured but unenlightened reporter who filled 
a full column with her "first impressions of America," 
probably considered good journalism in New York at 
that time. She has been there ever since, an excellent 
dancer trained to the most exacting perfection in the 
school of the Italian ballet. 

But superb contralto, brilliant danseuse, well trained 
company, and Campanini at the baton were not enough 
to save the performance. It probably holds a record for 
being the dullest opening night in the history of the com- 
pany. This was the first time that "Samson and Delilah" 
had been put on in operatic form in Chicago. Up to that 
time it had been sung only as an oratorio, and hopes 
were freely expressed that after that night it would go 
back permanently to the oratorio organizations. It did 
not, however. 

At the best it is slow moving, dignified, and quite 
lacking in the alert sparkle that one expects in an open- 
ing performance. The lavish spectacle and ballet of the 
third act came so late that the eagerness of the audience 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 89 

had been blunted on long, beautiful, but unexciting and 
motionless musical numbers, and even so fine a singer 
as Mme. Gerville-Reache could not smother a feeling 
that occasionally, just once in awhile, a few notes from 
a brilliant soprano voice would by its contrast brighten 
things up considerably. The greatest bit of joy in the 
proceedings was contained in the libretto, which gravely 
informed the world that in the first scene of the third 
act "Samson is discovered working like a horse." 

But Mme. Gerville-Reache had a rather more excit- 
ing time the next night. Miss Garden had been announced 
to appear in the name part of "Carmen," her first ap- 
pearance in the part here. About that time, however, 
she got into a private altercation with an ulcerated tooth, 
and woke up that morning with a face swollen much too 
asymmetrically for scenic illusion. Wherefore Mme. Ger- 
ville-Reache was besought to step into the breach, and 
did so, tired from the night before, in borrowed cos- 
tumes, but saving the day, or night, and thereby making 
her record two opening nights instead of one. 

About this time, too, the first effort to promote a 
scalpers' scandal took place. Bernhard Ulrich was sup- 
posed to have "confessed," according to one of the 
papers, that he sold some 1,650 tickets at a price of 
$8,250 to certain hotel lobby theater agents, and all 
the papers made gestures of striking nobility over the 
affair. Upon investigation it came out that while the 
number had been in the neighborhood of 1,650 and the 
price as stated, they were divided into groups of thirty- 
one for each of the fifty-two nights, at full box office 
prices and under terms which forbade the return of 
unsold tickets. This struck the general public as being 



90 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

about zero in confessions, and the "scandal" promptly 
collapsed of its own absurdity. 

This out of the way, there was a chance to consider 
some of the new members of the company. Mme. Ger- 
ville-Reache's double service had given her enough promi- 
nence for a good many people to learn how to spell her 
name and a few to pronounce it. Before the season it 
had been printed variously as Garville-Reache, Gerville- 
Raeche, and Gorville-Roache, and the variants of pro- 
nunciation had been even more extraordinary. Then came 
Maggie Teyte. 

She was a mite of a soprano about twenty years 
old, with a voice about four times as large as she was. 
Her press notices said that she was Irish, but she talked 
with a pronounced cockney twang. However, she could 
sing. Her first appearance was as Cherubino in Mozart's 
"Marriage of Figaro," with Miss White as the countess, 
Alice Zeppilli as Susanna, Louise Berat as Marcellina, 
Gustave Huberdeau as Figaro, Mario Sammarco as the 
count, and, as ever, Campanini at the baton. The ele- 
ments were a little racially diverse for a well blended 
performance, but it made a good bit of a success, with 
special honors to the tiny Cherubino. 

And then came Luisa Tetrazzini. Sister-in-law of 
Campanini — Mme. Campanini as Eva Tetrazzini was a 
famous soprano in her own right before she retired — 
she came and laid every one low. With the most disdain- 
ful ease she made the art of coloratura to glow as it has 
never glowed since. Physical illusion was not in her line 
at all; she was the size of three or four Maggie Teytes. 
But what a voice ! 

Even after all these years one can recall the warm 





Photo by Dupont 
Luisa Tetrazzini 



Photo by Foley 



Emma Eames 





Photo by Dupont 



Emil Fischer 



Photo by Dupont 

Geraldine Farrar 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 9 1 

reediness of its qualities, the joyous certainty with which 
it swooped into all the cascades and fireworks of colora- 
tura display, the piercing intensity which somehow or 
other never became shrill. She was the complete embodi- 
ment of the ideals of a former generation which de- 
manded perfect singing and little else in opera, and there 
can be little doubt that if she had lasted, her coloratura 
would have been an earnest competitor to Miss Garden's 
singing-acting. 

She sang five roles in two weeks, "Lucia di Lammer- 
moor," "Traviata," "Rigoletto," "The Barber of Se- 
ville," and "Lakme," with an extra "Lucia" for good 
luck, and went on her way, leaving the coloratura sched- 
ule for the rest of the season to be finished by Jenny 
Dufau, an arrangement that came near ending before it 
started. 

For Miss Dufau was not much bigger than Miss 
Teyte, and she had come to Chicago under a contract 
whereby the opera company was to provide her cos- 
tumes, or most of them. Being economical in small mat- 
ters, the company undertook to reconstruct some of the 
Tetrazzini costumes, with results that at times verged on 
the tragic. 

The first night that she was to appear as Lakme, 
the curtain was held for a considerable time. A represen- 
tative from the front office going back to investigate 
found Miss Dufau in tears. They were wrapping the 
Tetrazzini girdle twice around her waist instead of once, 
and even then it was falling off over her hips. After 
spending much time and using dozens of safety pins, the 
performance finally got started, but it was noticed that 



92 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

for some time Miss Dufau was measurably and pardon- 
ably preoccupied. 

Massenet's "Cendrillon" was one of the novelties 
of that season, a dainty, highly artificial, and more highly 
effective setting of the Cinderella story. It was well liked 
for some time, with Miss Teyte as Cendrillon, Miss 
Garden as the prince, Miss Dufau as the fairy, and some 
amusing comedy scenes by Louise Berat, Hector Du- 
franne, and Francesco Daddi. 

It was uncommonly pleasant while it lasted, though 
they never quite learned the trick back stage of handling 
the lights in the transformation scenes. Finally it went 
out of the repertoire, to the regret of a good many 
patrons, the scenery was broken up or redistributed, and 
in recent years the first act scene of "Traviata" has been 
the ex-ballroom scene presided over by the prince in 
"Cendrillon." But to this day there is in the Fine Arts 
Building a large painting of Miss Teyte at the ball. 

Miss Garden appeared in other new roles about this 
time, among them another boy's part, Jean, in Massenet's 
"Le Jongleur de Notre Dame," and as Carmen in the 
Bizet opera of the same name. Massenet never did any- 
thing as lovely as the score of "Le Jongleur," and Miss 
Garden's performance of the ragamuffin young juggler 
was as wistful and plaintive and moving as the music. 
Unfortunately the public never regarded this perform- 
ance with as much favor as it did some of her more 
spectacular roles, so it was not given as often as it de- 
served. Her Carmen, however, became a permanency of 
the repertoire. 

"Le Jongleur de Notre Dame" is a short opera, 
and in order to fill out the evening it used to be coupled 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 93 

with the first Wolf-Ferrari opera to be played in Chicago, 
"The Secret of Suzanne." This was a merry, tuneful 
little farce, involving nothing more serious than the ef- 
forts of a bride to keep her cigarette habit from the 
knowledge of her husband, Miss White and Mr. Sam- 
marco being the married pair, and Mr. Daddi the butler 
of unfailingly comic pantomime. It seems an uncommonly 
harmless piece, but it, too, had its effect on the social 
order of the day. 

Miss Lucy Page Gaston, founder and president of 
the Anti-Cigarette League of America, came to the Audi- 
torium to find out what it was all about, and apparently 
found out plenty. After the third cigarette of the piece, 
she arose and stepped — forever, she said — out of the 
defiled atmosphere of the Auditorium. The Tribune 
quoted her: 

" 'Horrible!' she exlcaimed, when she had recovered 
speech. 'Perfectly horrible. One after another! I saw her 
with my own eyes.' No one disputing the fact, Miss 
Gaston continued more calmly: 

" 'It is enough to turn one forever against grand 
opera. An artful embellishment of a pernicious vice which 
should receive the stamp' — Miss Gaston stamped — 'of 
disapproval from every true American woman. Miss 
White in this attitude is a menace to the entire com- 
munity. The only possible excuse is that Miss White 
indulges in the habit only on the stage !' 

"Miss Gaston was assured that such was not the 
case. 

" 'Well, then,' she said, 'that settles it. The box- 
holders and patrons of the Chicago Grand Opera Com- 



94 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

pany ought to stay away from the theatre until this vicious 
and immoral play is discontinued.' " 

But Miss White said that she could not see any 
harm in the opera or the practice, and the Tribune fol- 
lowed its news story with an editorial advising in mock- 
ing language the creation of an opera wherein the lady's 
indiscretions should center around a samovar. Mean- 
while operatic babies arrived to the wives of two officials, 
Mrs. Bernhard Ulrich, in whose case the stork flew sixty 
miles an hour and overtook her on a New York train, 
and Mrs. Alfred Szendrei, the wife of one of the con- 
ductors. Miss Garden announced that she was much too 
busy to think of getting married, so with one consid- 
eration and another the operatic cigarette crusade made 
only a brief appearance in the news columns of the 
newspapers. Likewise there were some other important 
operatic performances to be considered. 



CHAPTER VI 

NATO MA {In English) 

Grand opera in three acts by Victor Herbert. Pre- 
sented by the Chicago Grand Opera Company at the 
Auditorium, Chicago, Dec. 13, 191 1. 

The Cast 

Natoma Mary Garden 

Barbara Carolina White 

Lieut. Paul Merrill George Hamlin 

Don Francisco Henri Scott 

Juan Bautista Alvarado. . . Mario Sammarco 

Father Peralta Hector Duf ranne 

Pico Armand Crabbe 

Kagama Constantin Nicolay 

Jose Castro Frank Preisch 

Chiquita Rosina Galli 

A Voice Minnie Egener 

Sergeant Desire Def rere 

General Musical Director .... Cleof onte Campanini 

The oldest inhabitant would have had trouble in 
remembering any more stirring scene than took place on 
this occasion. Here at last was American opera, so we 
hoped, the first flowering of what was to grow into a 
mighty lyric garden. Of course it was American opera. 
Joseph Redding, the librettist; Victor Herbert, the com- 
poser, if Irish by birth, had been an adopted American 

95 



g6 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

for years before, had become and continued to be a power 
in the light opera field; the story was American, telling 
about early days in Santa Barbara, even if that was a 
period and locale of American life that few of us knew 
anything about. And was there not an American naval 
lieutenant as the leading tenor character, and cowboys — 
Spanish brand — and Indians, one of them, the halfbreed, 
Castro, heap bad medicine? Why not get out and cheer? 

We all did. Records and memories tell how every 
one connected with the matter was called and called again 
before the curtain, how Miss Garden made a ringer with 
a wreath of laurel over the head of Mr. Herbert, how 
she tried to make another on Mr. Campanini which he 
lithely evaded, how she tossed a rose into the prompter's 
box, and how the audience, taking a great liking to the 
Herbert melodies, asked for and received repetitions of 
no less than four musical numbers. For those were the 
old, inartistic days, when the fact of an enthusiastic 
audience demanding an encore was considered sufficient 
reason to give it one. Since then ideals of art have been 
changed. It is now believed that the atmosphere of an 
opera like, let us say, "II Trovatore," is so tenuous and 
evanescent as to be completely ruined by permitting a 
number to be repeated. No orders, however, have ever 
been issued against permitting an artist to step out of 
his part down to the footlights and bow and show his 
teeth as long as a single pair of palms continues to come 
into patting contact, that is, not until Mr. Vladimir Ros- 
ing conceived the idea that some operas might have a 
continuous dramatic action and should be presented by 
the American Opera Company with that idea in mind. 

"Natoma" had been staged the year before in Phila- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 97 

delphia, with John McCormack in the part done by- 
George Hamlin here, but by this time he was beginning 
to step out into his concert career, and Mr. Hamlin, 
who had been a concert artist of renown in Chicago 
and elsewhere, commenced his operatic career. Both 
were good arguments on the possibility of making the 
English language an understandable and beautiful sing- 
ing language, for both knew about all that there was 
to know about singing English. For the practical usability 
of English was one of the important considerations in 
"Natoma." The only previous attempt that the company 
had made was a translated version of "Hansel and 
Gretel," and as an argument for the use of the vernacular 
it was distinctly not a success in spite of Miss Teyte's 
immortal spoken line, "O see those little children dear; 
I wonder where they all came from." 

As a matter of fact "Natoma" was older than the 
date of its first performance. Herbert had written it 
several years before at the invitation of Hammerstein, 
when that impresario was still a power in New York. 
He told me once that he had had an entirely different 
cast in mind at the time of its composition, that if, for 
instance, he had known in advance that Miss Garden 
was to have had the leading part, he would have con- 
structed her music in quite another manner. 

However, here it was, and there it went. The en- 
thusiasm of the first night's audience was shared by other 
audiences, and in Chicago and on the road it received 
at one time and another no less than thirty performances. 
Mr. Herbert himself conducted the thirtieth and last at 
the Auditorium. By that time Alice Zeppilli had succeeded 
to Miss Garden's part in the work. 



98 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

There would seem to be a certain resemblance be- 
tween the careers of Herbert in America and Arthur 
Sullivan in England. Both were enormously talented in 
the art of writing music for light operas, both were 
ambitious to write grand operas, and both were dis- 
appointed at the final results. In Herbert's case, both in 
"Natoma" and in a later attempt, the trouble lay largely 
with the libretto. The story of "Natoma" was melodra- 
matic in tone and scrappy in treatment, and only slightly 
related to American life. The lyrics were nothing much 
to fire the imagination of a less fluent composer than 
Herbert, but he was able to spurt melody at the slightest 
excuse. We used to think that if he were put to it, he 
could compose a perfectly singable tune to any given 
column in the telephone directory. At any rate, one of 
the best songs in "Natoma," Alvarado's serenade, was 
a sprightly and lilting setting of this: 

Oh, my lady love; oh, my lady love, 
Leave me not in the dusk to repine, 
Oh, my lady love ; oh, my lady love, 
Bid me to sing to thy beauty divine. 

A couple of illustrative though minor side lights on 
operatic life were discovered by the newspapers. A cer- 
tain married woman, whose name at this point is of no 
importance, was discovered to be working in the chorus 
under the name of "Miss Brooks." She told all the re- 
porters within hearing distance that she was tired of 
being "more or less of a bird in more or less of a gilded 
cage." Then she enlarged upon the theme. 

"I am ambitious," she said. "I have something to 
live for. I am no longer a 'loyal wife' (Oh, how I hate 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 99 

that word), or a model housekeeper (that phrase drives 
me crazy), or — a stunning dresser. 

"I am ambitious and self-centered. I am ambitious 
and have developed a sublime faith in my genius. Pretty 
soon I shall acquire temperament. Then I'll get a job as a 
prima donna. I can sing — listen." 

It seems rather too bad to be forced to record the 
fact that after so many perpendicular pronouns and such 
a candid statement of the prima donna's credo, "Miss 
Brooks" was never heard of again. 

One also began to discover what grand opera cost 
in those days. More was learned about it a couple of 
years later, but local managers of the present may look 
with envy upon a receipt dated Milwaukee, Dec. 8, 191 1. 

Received from Mrs. Clara Bowen Shepherd Sixty-eight Hun- 
dred Dollars ($6800.00) being the Guarantee for the Perform- 
ance of Samson and Delilah given at the above Theatre and Date 
by the Chicago Grand Opera Company. 

Max I. Hirsch. 

The next attempt to capture public attention through 
the medium of novelty was "Quo Vadis." This, also, had 
been shown to Philadelphia the season before, and, if 
any one is now interested, the date of the first perform- 
ance at the Auditorium was Dec. 19, 191 1. 

"Quo Vadis" had been made into an opera libretto 
by Henri Cain out of Sienkiewicz's novel of the same 
name, a best seller in its day, and set to music by Jean 
Nougues. Does anybody remember the performance? 
Recollections are somewhat vague. There had been every 
intention of constructing a spectacle that would put 
"Ai'da" into the permanent shade. It was to contain the 



100 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

burning of Rome by Nero; a gladiatorial combat; Ursus 
was to strangle Croton and throw his body into the Tiber 
which was to receive him with a splash of real water; 
other signs of real genius like these. It needed a cast 
of ten principals, fifteen lesser principals, and all the 
chorus and ballet and supernumeraries that could be 
crowded on to the Auditorium stage. 

But one remembers chiefly some greatly noisy and 
greatly unimportant music that ran for hours and hours 
and hours — one of the newspapers records that the final 
curtain fell at 12:10 in the morning — and a conflagration 
scene at which you might possibly have warmed your 
hands, but which certainly did not look convincing enough 
for the destruction of the first city of the world. These, 
and the scene where Nero ordered Chilo's tongue to be 
torn out. It consisted of a gentle huddle on the stage, 
nowhere nearly as active as any first down in any football 
game, following which Mr. Dufranne as Chilo turned 
around and faced the audience with a smear of red paint 
dripping down the length of his whiskers. 

Looking back over the by-products of the season, 
one's eyes are gladdened by the first defiance of the 
claque — it was by Jane Osborn-Hannah — and the first 
official denial by the company that there was a claque, 
or if such a malign influence should have imposed upon 
managerial innocence, that it would be promptly driven 
out of town. This became a serial that endured for years. 

Mrs. Osborn-Hannah appeared as Sieglinde in "Die 
Walkiire" that season. It was a good cast, containing the 
names of Mr. Dalmores as Siegmund, Clarence White- 
hill as Wotan, Mme. Ernestine Schumann-Heink in a 
guest appearance as Fricka, Minnie Saltzmann-Stevens 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO IOI 

as Briinnhilde, and Dr. Szendrei conducting. Concerning 
Mrs. Saltzminn-Stevens, the press agents had worked 
overtime. It was the Cinderella theme in real life, from 
a clerk in a Bloomington, Illinois, shop, through a re- 
fusal to be accepted as pupil by Jean de Reszke, to a 
leading part in the Chicago Opera, including — though 
this has always been a bit hard to believe — the possession 
of a vocal compass of four octaves. In spite of all this 
flurry of publicity, she succeeded rather well. 

By now the decks were being cleared for the final 
novelty of the season, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's "The 
Jewels of the Madonna." Here Chicago was to have a 
real American premiere. It had been given a performance 
in Berlin, whereupon the composer caught the first boat 
to be present at the Chicago event, Jan. 12, 19 12. He 
was present only as a spectator, but during his stay Chi- 
cagoans gave him dinners and suppers and made speeches 
at him in German and Italian until he was glad to escape 
with his life. Just before he left he conducted the Apollo 
Musical Club in the first performance of his cantata, 
"The New Life," which displayed a side of his talent 
not covered by either "The Jewels of the Madonna" 
or "The Secret of Suzanne." 

"The Jewels" promptly made itself a permanent 
item in the repertoire. Its Italian folk tunes at once 
became popular, so did the composer's own personal 
melodies. It had color and action and speed, the first 
act with its vendors of macaroni, toy balloons, water, 
fruit, and flowers, its monks and peasants and camorristi 
and vagabonds, its second act with an ending so startling 
that Percy Hammond was moved to say that it added 



102 I0RTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

discomfort to blasphemy, its third act back to the noise 
and confusion and speed of the camorristi's tavern. 

One hears that Italian audiences are accustomed to 
regard "The Jewels" somewhat scornfully, looking at it 
about as American audiences look at "The Girl of the 
Golden West," as something much too impossible to be 
taken seriously. If this is true, it evens up the score, for 
"The Jewels" went as strong in America as "The Girl" 
did in Italy. Audiences and critics alike outdid them- 
selves in saying nice things about it. Learned essays were 
written on its music and its drama. I remember reading 
a pronouncement somewhere that it was "a slice of life," 
and this, one would think, was going some for any opera. 
At any rate Miss White made the hit of her life as 
Maliella, and Mr. Sammarco the hit of his as Rafaele, 
with scarcely less enthusiasm for Mr. Bassi's Gennaro, 
Mme. Berat's Carmela, and the thirty or forty lesser 
characters who put their picturesque bits into the action. 

This was the last notable achievement of the season. 
On to Philadelphia again, with side trips to Baltimore, 
New York, and the like. Then a summer's rest, and the 
whole thing to do over again. Such is opera. 



CHAPTER VII 

We hardly realized it at the time, but the beginning 
of the 1912-13 season was a period of peace after pro- 
tracted battle. Manager Dippel over a year before had 
come to the conclusion that too much was being charged 
by the publishing house that controlled the American 
rights of certain Italian operas, coupled with the fact 
that when he contracted for the use of certain operas 
which he wanted, he was obliged as part of the engage- 
ment to take over certain other unpopular ones that he 
did not want. 

It is a system practiced in many branches of music, 
notably by concert managers lucky enough to have the 
services of an artist who scores as a box office attraction. 
A city wanting this box office attraction is obliged to take 
other artists unable to draw enough to pay the local 
expenses. In opera or concert, such a course of procedure 
is both expensive and exasperating, and it is one of the 
reasons why some managers just now are rubbing dazed 
eyes and wondering publicly what is the matter with the 
concert business. 

So Mr. Dippel, in 191 1, with the full approval of his 
board of directors took a short way out. He went on a 
single-handed but potent buyer's strike. If you will look 
back over the summary of the season just closed, you will 
see no mention of the Puccini operas, nor of "Ai'da," nor 
of quite a few others currently supposed to have important 
places in every well regulated operatic season. 

103 



104 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

A buyer's strike when it means loss of both money 
and prestige usually has only one result. It was destined 
to be Dippel's stormiest year as will be told in its place, 
but this time he would seem to have dictated the terms 
of peace. At any rate the 19 12-13 season began with the 
first performance in Chicago of the first opera in which 
Giacomo Puccini made himself talked about, in other 
words, "Manon Lescaut." It had this cast: 

Manon Lescaut Carolina White 

Lescaut Mario Sammarco 

Chevalier des Grieux. . .Giovanni Zenatello 

Geronte Vittorio Trevisan 

EdmondO Emilio Venturini 

Landlord Frank Preisch 

A Musician Ruby Heyl 

Ballet Master Edmond Warnery 

A Lamplighter Emilio Venturini 

Sergeant Nicola Fossetta 

Captain Constantin Nicolay 

General Musical Director. . .Cleofonte Campanini 
Stage Director Fernand Almanz 

In a good many ways "Manon Lescaut" has always 
been my favorite of the Puccini operas. It is by no means 
as fully developed as the later "La Boheme," "Madame 
Butterfly," or "Tosca," but listening to its pages closely, 
you hear the germ of all of them. In fact one might 
almost say that for the rest of his melodious career the 
principal part of his employment was to write amplifi- 
cations and variants of "Manon Lescaut." 

It was a good performance, but promptly put upon 
the shelf. Miss White added another part to her list 
of triumphs. Mr. Zenatello, though in a state of pristine 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 105 

innocence regarding acting or impersonation or anything 
else except singing, was the owner of a superb voice that 
threw out its high B flats and C's as though they were 
nothing at all. Down in a comparatively unimportant 
part was Vittorio Trevisan, a new member of the com- 
pany, and not then known for the unbelievably amusing 
comic bass characters that later made him famous. 

All this, however, was promptly overshadowed by 
the approach of an artist whose advance publicity made 
even Miss Garden look to her laurels. This was the 
"greatest of all baritones," Titta Ruffo. An unbridled 
imagination had worked for months preparing his advent. 
Ruffo, if you will believe what got into the papers, had 
come out of the ranks of the iron workers of Rome, had 
been turned down by his singing teacher for incompe- 
tence — how many dozens of singers like to have their 
patrons believe this — was the recipient of the largest fee 
on record ($2,000 a performance was admitted) and 
spent all his spare time between working ornamental iron 
candlesticks and reading Shakespeare. The last touch was 
a bit unfortunate, for Rufifo in the course of his Chicago 
season appeared in Ambroise Thomas' version of 
"Hamlet." 

But what a sensation he was when he first appeared! 
Apparently he had been born with a highly efficient 
knowledge of the stage as applied to several Italian roles, 
and his voice made his hearers weep tears of pure joy. 
Then and thereafter its most effective range was its upper 
octave, but that octave was almost enough to eclipse 
memories of Tetrazzini the season before. It had a B flat 
in it, and it could hold its own against any orchestral 
din that Campanini chose to invoke. In later years when 



106 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

constant pounding had blunted the brilliancy of the great 
trumpet tones, the case was different, but these were the 
early and golden days. 

So "Rigoletto" with Ruffo in it was suddenly con- 
verted from just another Italian opera into a shuddering 
masterpiece of tragedy. Then there was that curious muti- 
lation of Shakespeare's masterpiece which Thomas chose 
to consider an opera, having cut out about half its plot 
and all its psychology, and Ruffo in spite of a greatly 
uneven performance as the prince of Denmark triumphed 
again. Finally, and most sensational, the Tonio of 
"Pagliacci." 

No one else has ever done Tonio the same way. 
Ruffo's Tonio was mournful, tragic, imbecilic, trembling 
on the verge of epilepsy, a condition portrayed with 
almost the accuracy of a clinic. But it was a whirlwind 
of passion, and as far as the audience was concerned, it 
was a riot. They said that ushers gathered up split white 
gloves by the basketful after the performance was over. 

Does any one now remember an opera called "The 
Cricket on the Hearth"? It was given that season, Carl 
Goldmark's music set to a version of the Dickens story, 
with Miss Teyte in the leading part and the men's char- 
acters taken by Mr. Dufranne, Mr. Scott, and finally 
Mr. Hamlin wearing one of the most extraordinary sets 
of whiskers that ever diversified the human countenance. 
It was sung in English, too. At one time and another 
the Chicago Opera Company in its various phases has 
given its audiences plenty of chance to pass on the sub- 
ject of opera in English, and if the entire repertoire is 
not now being sung in the native tongue, it is undoubtedly 
because those who approve it have made a practice of 




o 





It 







FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO IO7 

buying fewer tickets than the letters they write on the 
subject. At any rate "The Cricket" was a pretty little 
work, though not of long life. 

Meanwhile Miss Garden was pausing in Boston to 
play "Tosca" with Vanni-Marcoux in the opera company 
of that city, and, as usual, she was getting into the news 
columns. This time it was something to the effect that 
Mayor John F. Fitzgerald had threatened to revoke the 
license of the Boston Opera house unless the second act 
was toned down. When Miss Garden finally got to Chi- 
cago she denied it all, saying that Mayor Fitzgerald was 
a most pleasant person and that she had had a delightful 
interview with him, then adding that she was going to in- 
sist that Vanni-Marcoux come on to Chicago and play 
Scarpia to her Tosca. But that plan fell by the wayside, 
and she finally appeared with Sammarco, singing her part 
in French while the rest of the opera was in Italian. But 
as regards the Boston episode, "Some one," said an edi- 
torial in the Tribune, "is always running Miss Mary 
through a printing press, and she never seems to provoke 
the attention." 

Massenet's "Herodiade" came on about this time, 
a feeble piece, though Miss White, Mme. de Cisneros, 
and Mr. Dalmores were personally successful. Also 
Lillian Nordica came on the scene to sing Isolde to the 
Tristan of Mr. Dalmores and the Brangaene of Mme. 
Schumann-Heink, a performance which used to take her 
a full act and a half to warm up, but which from then 
on she sang like a soprano angel. Also Julia Claussen 
came over from Sweden and gave a great performance of 
Ortrud in "Lohengrin," and, a few nights later, a greater 
one as Brunnhilde in "Die Walkure." Add to these 



108 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

various events the further one that "Cendrillon" was 
revived, this time with Helen Stanley instead of Miss 
Garden in the travesty role, and wearing the costume of 
Prince Charming with such a manner as to incite one 
persistent but nonprofessional patron to the remark that 
nothing of the sort had been seen on the stage since 
Frankie Bailey was sixteen years old. Frankie Bailey, it 
may be added, used to be a chorus girl in the old Weber 
and Fields shows, of countrywide fame for her shape- 
liness. 

About the middle of December, 19 12, appears the 
news item that the company, 300 strong, would go to 
New York after the Chicago season, and that it would 
then entrain for a tour to the Pacific coast, to Dallas, 
Texas, then to Los Angeles, from there to San Diego 
and three weeks in San Francisco, and home by way of 
Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake, Denver, Kansas City, St. 
Louis, Omaha, and Minneapolis. 

This tour subsequently became famous for several 
reasons. First, it was a big undertaking successfully car- 
ried through; second, that by virtue of guaranties pre- 
viously underwritten, it paid its financial way; finally, that 
it was the time of a permanent breach between Cam- 
panini and Tetrazzini. 

It was with Tetrazzini as one of the stars that the 
tour had been arranged, for she had some years before 
made her American debut in San Francisco, and she was 
famous up and down the Pacific coast. It has been already 
noted herein that she and Mme. Campanini were sisters, 
but neither family nor artistic relationships nor the sum 
of the two kept her from an occasional clash with her 
brother-in-law. This was the final one. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO IOQ 

The two had a row over some details of a perform- 
ance one night during an intermission, and from all 
accounts it became personal in tone, ending with a re- 
ported opinion from the madame that she was the star 
and the artist and the box office attraction and that he 
was merely the conductor. Campanini would seem to 
have considered that he came off second best in the inter- 
change, but he bided his time in vengeful patience. Finally 
his chance came in Los Angeles, and he took it. 

She was singing Gilda in "Rigoletto" and he was 
conducting. She had reached "Caro nome," and had sky- 
rocketed into the cadenza with which she ended the aria 
when somehow or other she lost her place and her pitch, 
ending on a note which was high enough but many de- 
grees away from the true one. Campanini's quick ear 
caught the mistake. 

Now a kindhearted conductor, even Campanini, if 
he had not had the previous row in his mind, would have 
allowed her note to die away, and while applause was 
raging, brought the orchestra in gently and softly, and 
probably no one in the audience would have detected the 
mistake. Instead, he sensed a devastating revenge. He 
took a firm grip of the baton, signaled the orchestra, and 
produced a crashing chord that jarred the roof and 
showed every one in the opera house the discordant, 
spine-chilling distance that she had removed herself from 
the correct pitch. 

This is what "merely a conductor" can do when 
unamiable. The two never appeared in the same per- 
formance again, never spoke again, in fact Mme. Tet- 
razzini never sang in Chicago again until after Cam- 



HO FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

panini's death. And when she came to get out her auto- 
biography, she made no mention of ever having sung 
in Chicago, and of Campanini only the dry fact that he 
had married her sister. 



CHAPTER VIII 

This, however, is a bit in advance of the chronology 
of the season. There were some novelties to be done, 
and some brewing temperamental rows at home. Of the 
first, there was "Noel," a brief and depressing piece from 
the pen of Baron Frederick d'Erlanger of France. 

It had about as much advance publicity as any other 
novelty, including the item that Mrs. Minnie Saltzmann- 
Stevens, who took the principal part, had gone shopping 
for an eighty-nine cent nightgown so that she might die 
with full dramatic accuracy in the charity ward of a hos- 
pital during the last act. But when it came out on the 
night of Jan. 8, 191 2, it was discovered to be a candy 
lyric tragedy of some poor but generally honest beings 
of southern France, a sort of Gallic "East Lynne." One 
newspaper made the none too enthusiastic comment that 
it was probably the best music ever written by a baron, 
and the others hardly reached even that pitch of excite- 
ment, so "Noel" speedily went into the lasting silence. 

It was a better time for the news columns than the 
critical corner, so Miss White told the world that she 
was going on strike. She said that she had been over- 
worked and underpaid, adding that Mr. Dippel was a 
slave driver and with a habit of discriminating against 
American singers in favor of the foreign importations. 
Once again this was, in the newspaper language, front 
page stuff. 



112 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

As a matter of fact for several weeks Miss White 
had been worked rather hard. Pending the arrival of 
Miss Garden from Boston, she was the most available 
leading soprano on the roster, and she was able to point 
out a record of four major performances in five days as 
one of her causes for complaint. But Mr. Dippel seldom 
allowed any member of his company to catch him napping 
on a contest of wits, and this was his dictated response: 

"I give you an excerpt from her contract and the 
dates on which she has sung. You will observe that the 
letter of the contract has been observed, and if she didn't 
wish to keep it, she shouldn't have signed it. The prima 
donnas do not work too much; they eat too much. It is 
terrible the way they have been entertained by society 
here in Chicago. Too many dinners and too many late 
hours. I eat too much — we all eat too much — but I don't 
complain." 

This, too, was devastating. It startled an editorial 
writer on the Tribune into this : 

"Heroic Mr. Dippel. Bring on the boar's head and 
the roast apples, the roast side of beef and the suckling 
pig, the pheasant, grouse, and mallard, ortolans and reed 
birds, Missouri turkey and Virginia pig, anchovies and 
pickled herring, puddings and mince pie; bring even buck- 
wheat cakes and scrapple, johnny cake and maple syrup, 
little pig sausage and fried mush — Mr. Dippel may flinch, 
but he will not complain. 

"This, however, is bound to give our culture a gross 
reputation, and we are so recently divorced from the 
flesh and wedded to the spirit that the breath of calumny 
may yet destroy us." 

So the newspapers leaped upon the item with great 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO II3 

joy, setting out at length one of Miss White's daily 
menus, and giving further space to the continuing reproof 
valiant on one side and the countercheck quarrelsome on 
the other. Finally some sort of a truce was declared, Miss 
White went so far on her strike as to stay out of one 
scheduled "Aida" performance — and to give a dinner 
party on that night. Then she went on a concert tour. 
"Sold to the minors," the headlines had it, but it was 
really a previously planned contract arrangement. 

One of the most interesting items of the year took 
place on the afternoon of Jan. 4. It was a performance 
in concert form of the first opera ever written, Claudio 
Monteverde's "Orfeo," with Mr. Sammarco as Orpheus 
and Miss Stanley as Eurydice. Being done without scenery 
or action, there was no chance to estimate its visual 
values, but musically it was a jewel, of old-fashioned cut 
but still fine quality. It proved among other things that 
opera composition may have gained something of deft- 
ness in 300 years, but certainly little in actual musical 
beauty. The nobility of Mr. Sammarco's singing is still a 
memory after sixteen years. 

But it was a contest between art and the box office. 
The public was — and is — far more interested in the per- 
sonalities of singers than the operatic score itself, no 
matter how fine, and the Auditorium was only about a 
third filled that day. So Mr. Campanini's aspirations to- 
ward the unusual in art suffered a setback, and the piece 
was put away, never to be given again. Too bad, for as a 
work of art it was worth many performances. 

Other episodes, rather minor in character from this 
distance, took place. Mr. Sammarco's feelings were se- 
verely wounded about his "Tosca" Scarpia, first because 



114 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Miss Garden wanted to have Vanni-Marcoux instead of 
him in the part, second because of some of the things 
said about him when he finally did it ("His personality is 
ill suited to the part; even his legs are good-natured," 
was one), and he expressed himself in print vigorously 
on both counts. The chorus went on strike because of an 
extra performance wherein Adeline Genee, a delightful 
dancer in her time, was to have half the bill. At last 
"Conchita" began to draw near. 

This opera was another partial failure at the time, 
though there is no particular reason why it should be 
now. It was composed by Riccardo Zandonai, just then 
being talked about as one of the new and advanced Italian 
composers, and its principal part was taken by Tarquinia 
Tarquini, who came to Chicago to do that part and no 
other, and who since has become Signora Zandonai and 
retired from the stage. 

Musically it was then a bit startling, just a trifle in 
advance of its period, but I, for one, believe that both it 
and the old "Orfeo" would have a good chance if given 
now. "Conchita" was a story of Spain, considered a trifle 
daring in theme, though it was most circumspect in per- 
formance, surrounded by music not in the least like that 
of "Carmen" but with some entrancing scenes in it, and 
with one episode which may have been sound psychology 
but seemed a trifle comic at the time. 

It was a scene where Conchita's lover, with patience 
lost over her whims and tantrums, falls upon her and 
gives her a thorough and well deserved beating. Where- 
upon, exhausted and blissful, she sinks into his arms, mur- 
muring — the translation is approximate — "Did you then 
love me so much that you treat me this way?" 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 115 

The season was weaving its way to an end. It finally 
finished, the company went on its long tour and came 
back, with every one exhausted but elated, bearing the 
insignia of both artistic and financial success. And then, 
without notice, more fireworks, and all of them centering 
around Andreas Dippel. For suddenly, unexpectedly, after 
many fights but by far the best of the three seasons of 
the Chicago Opera, Dippel resigned. 

In its time a number of mysteries have attached 
themselves to the Chicago Opera, but this has always 
been one of the greatest and the least subject to logical 
explanation. For that matter, no explanation was ever 
made. Nothing appeared in the newspapers or in any 
other place of record; all that was known was that one 
Saturday afternoon there was a directors' meeting, and 
when it was ended there was the fact of Dippel's resigna- 
tion and Campanini's appointment to the position of gen- 
eral director of the company. When Dippel got outside 
the committee room, he is reported to have said, "My 
God, I spoke too soon." True or not, it would have been 
characteristic of him. 

It could not have been that Dippel did not know his 
opera, for he had been in it all his life as artist and di- 
rector. Neither could it have been that he was at all 
lacking in the art of the operatic showman, in other 
words the salesman of operatic wares, for during his 
three years he had displayed an uncommon acumen in 
estimating the public taste and in catering to it in a 
wise and efficient manner. 

It is true that the weakness of his regime had applied 
to mechanical matters of the stage, particularly to light- 
ings, but this applied to much of Campanini's reign also. 



Il6 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

If during the first few years of the Chicago Opera there 
was ever a time when a change of lighting was made 
on its proper cue, neither memory nor record reveals the 
fact. It was very nearly a perfect score of errors. They 
were continually apologetic about it, but they never im- 
proved. Not until considerably later did the company 
ever get within shouting distance of what the ordinary 
dramatic stage considers the merely primary in effects. 

At any rate, Dippel was out, Campanini was in, 
Bernhard Ulrich was business manager, and the 1913-14 
prospectus tells of the following as officers and com- 
mittees: 

President — Harold F. McCormick; vice-presidents, 
Charles G. Dawes and Otto H. Kahn; treasurer — Charles 
L. Hutchinson; executive committee — John C. Shaffer, 
vice-chairman, R. T. Crane, Charles G. Dawes, Harold 
F. McCormick, La Verne W. Noyes, Max Pam, John G. 
Shedd; board of directors — Frederick Bode, H. M. 
Byllesby, R. T. Crane, Charles G. Dawes, Frederick T. 
Haskell, Charles L. Hutchinson, Otto H. Kahn, Harold 
F. McCormick, John J. Mitchell, Ira N. Morris, La 
Verne W. Noyes, Max Pam, George F. Porter, Julius 
Rosenwald, John C. Shaffer, John G. Shedd, Charles A. 
Stevens, F. D. Stout. 

It will be noticed that with the exception of Mr. 
Kahn, the New Yorkers and Philadelphians had dropped 
out in great numbers from the board as it had existed 
when the company was first organized three years before. 



CHAPTER IX 

Cleofonte Campanini's consulship, which extended 
from the summer of 19 13 until his death, was a time of 
deep and abiding joy for all beholders, if not for all his 
operatic exploits, which at that were notable, at least for 
his personality. He was nearly as picturesque a character 
as his old chief, Hammerstein, and by that token, the 
Chicago Opera entered into a new phase. 

The nineteen years' younger brother of Italo Cam- 
panini, who was the greatly famed dramatic tenor of the 
eighties, he was by family relationship, tradition, and 
routine of life a man of the theater. The stage was his 
life, it was in his blood, he breathed its air as the rest of 
us breathe a breeze from the woods. It showed in every- 
thing that he said, everything that he was, from the dye 
that used to run out of his mustache down the corners of 
his mouth, after a hot session of conducting, to his the- 
atrical, not to say spectacular funeral exercises on the 
stage of the Auditorium. 

First of all he was a fine musician, one of the fore- 
most operatic conductors of his time. Otherwise all the 
glamour and scenic effect with which he loved to surround 
himself would never have gotten him to the conductor's 
stand in the foremost opera houses of the world, nor 
permitted him to stay there if accident had put him there. 
People used to say that no one was ever slower to learn a 
score than he. A new score used to mean months of un- 

117 



Il8 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

remitting, grinding labor before he got it well into his 
head. They still tell stories at the Auditorium of his 
twenty-seven full rehearsals of "The Jewels of the Ma- 
donna," orchestra, cast, and chorus, and I remember how 
he worked with the orchestra on "Salome," strings alone, 
woodwinds alone, brasses alone, then in combinations, 
afterward the full orchestra, and finally orchestra and 
singers. In these days of union prices for rehearsals, his 
preparatory dealings would cause a constant succession 
of heart failures in the auditing department of any opera 
company, but his theory was that to be ready is to be 
right. 

When he finally pronounced himself and his com- 
pany ready, one could be prepared for something quite 
out of the ordinary. Some of the performances he gave 
have never been equaled for their power, their imagina- 
tion, their color and finish. In spite of the fact that in 
all his years in this country he preferred to talk Italian — 
his French was highly imperfect, his English worse, and 
he had no German at all — he was ever the international- 
ist in music. He loved and admired the works of his own 
land, naturally, but he loved and admired Wagner quite 
as much, and he was the American pioneer in works of 
the French school, in works by Massenet and Debussy 
and a list of others that had never crossed the ocean. In 
his concerts he used to direct Debussy's "La Mer," and 
he trained his orchestra into playing the Ride of the 
Valkyries in "Die Walkiire" with only such direction as 
he gave it with a glance of the eye. His exhumation of 
Monteverde's "Orfeo" has already been mentioned, but 
it is not generally known that up to the time of his last 
illness he was planning a gradual but increasing importa- 



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Cleofonte Campanini 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO II9 

tion of a list of Russian works. The Chicago Opera pre- 
sented "Boris Godunoff" and "Sniegurotchka" after his 
death, but these merely followed his plans, and he had 
several others under consideration. 

In such matters he was a great man; in a good many 
others he was an interesting, sometimes amusing, always 
rather fascinating character. He was superstitious no end; 
the sight of a man afflicted with a humpback was enough 
to change his day's program, and he recognized, or 
thought he did, more cases of the evil eye than have been 
known since the middle ages. Desire Defrere, one of the 
very few in continuous service with the Chicago Opera 
since its inception, tells how one night he called upon 
Campanini in his hotel to discuss some operatic matters, 
and unthinkingly tossed his hat upon the bed. Campanini 
promptly took the hat, opened the window, and threw it 
into the street nine floors below, not at all as a matter of 
etiquette, but to avert bad luck. He promised to replace 
it with a new hat, and he made good on his promise, but 
as Mr. Defrere ruefully commented: "The hat he threw 
out of the window cost ten dollars; the one he gave me 
cost four." 

One of his most pronounced idiosyncrasies was a be- 
lief in the efficacy of old nails picked up from the street or 
elsewhere, and it was no unusual thing for him to have a 
quarter or a half pound of such junk metal in the pocket 
of his coat. One day some person with a malicious heart 
and a knowledge of his weakness strewed a line of old 
nails through the tunnel leading from the Congress Hotel 
to the Auditorium, and down the hall leading to the 
offices of the opera company. Campanini was extra rheu- 



120 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

matic that day, and it must have cost him many pangs to 
secure them all, but he did not miss one. 

As it happened, when he finally eased himself into 
his chair and began opening his mail, the first letter told 
of a member of the company who had been ill but was 
recovered and ready to come back. The second announced 
that another singer with whom he had been figuring was 
ready to sign a contract on his terms. The third had news 
that negotiations for a new opera were proceeding in a 
most satisfactory manner. All these in one mail. You may 
imagine how far an argument about superstitions would 
get with Campanini after that. He was more confirmed 
than ever. 

He was a warm friend and a hot enemy, and when 
anything happened to make him suspicious, he was quite 
certain to be an enemy. One of the vivid memories during 
his regime is the running warfare that three of us 
carried on with him through one winter. He hated to 
make announcements until he was absolutely certain he 
could go through with them, having once in an indiscreet 
moment told of a pending all-star performance of "Don 
Giovanni" that for one reason and another had collapsed 
into nearly an all-eclipse performance. 

Nevertheless he liked to talk over his plans with 
those he thought he could trust, though in this list he did 
not include the newspaper crowd, since on that and simi- 
lar occasions they had been disrespectful to him in print. 
Frederick Donaghey, James Whittaker, and I, all music 
critics at that time, discovered that at a certain hour of 
the evening Campanini and one of his Italian friends were 
sure to appear at the Auditorium bar. (Those were the 
days when there was a bar.) He was temperate in matters 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 121 

of alcohol, but he would order a glass of mineral water 
and sip it, meanwhile discussing operatic things with his 
friend. 

In a few minutes he would leave and we would de- 
part for our newspapers. Whittaker understood more 
Italian than we others, so before separating he would give 
us a summary of the conversation, the next day three 
Chicago newspapers would contain news of Campanini's 
plans, and Campanini's blood pressure would take another 
leap upward. 

He moved heaven and earth that season trying to 
discover the leak. He would seem to have threatened his 
whole office force with death by slow torture, and it is 
certain that one day he called in state on the bosses of our 
papers, demanding, like Salome before Herod, our jour- 
nalistic heads on a charger. None of the three heads were 
granted him, but he continued to hate us with a hatred 
that should have turned our food into poison if it did not. 
However, next season, with equal formality and more 
diplomacy, he forgave us fully, and some time later 
Donaghey was taken into his full favor. Whittaker left 
for the war before his particular hatchet could be buried, 
and I do not imagine that the two ever came to terms. 
But up to the day of his death Campanini never discov- 
ered that he himself and only he was responsible for the 
leak. 

Once upon a time I chanced to be chatting with 
Leopold Kramer, a fine violinist who had come from the 
concertmaster's chair in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 
to take the same position with the orchestra. He said, "I 
like to play with Mr. Campanini. We all feel that he is 
like a rock on the stand, that no matter what happens 



122 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

he will never lose his head or his composure." It was 
some seasons after that conversation that one night a 
maniac tried to set off a bomb in the Auditorium, a Galli- 
Curci night while Campanini was conducting. But that 
event must wait for its turn. 



CHAPTER X 

So in 19 1 3 Campanini took charge and things began 
to hum. Just by way of getting started, of stretching his 
newly fledged managerial wings, the company staged and 
sang thirty different operas in the first six weeks of the 
season. This was a record that probably was never 
equaled before or since, and it left the singers, the audi- 
ences, and the critics gasping for breath. 

Just before the company went into its mass produc- 
tion a news item interesting in many ways was made 
public. On Oct. 30, 19 13, the Tribune announced that all 
of the company's stock that remained in the hands of 
eastern shareholders had been purchased by President 
Harold F. McCormick, thereby giving not only control 
but complete ownership of the company to the Chicago 
group. The item quotes an unnamed director as saying: 

"Under the old arrangement we were entirely de- 
pendent for our eastern season upon the guarantee of one 
Philadelphian, E. T. Stotesbury, which was all that pre- 
vented a regular deficit. He will now make arrangements 
with the Boston company to make flying visits to Phila- 
delphia. 

"We always made money in the once-a-week appear- 
ances in New York, but we as regularly lost it in Wash- 
ington and Philadelphia. The eastern engagements did 
not pay. 

"On the other hand our western tour showed a book 
123 



124 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

profit last year. This was wiped out by the too small reser- 
vation we made for scenery and costumes, but that will 
not happen again, for we will manage our own tour in- 
stead of leasing it. We will have a longer western tour 
and we will make more money." 

One can imagine the sardonic smile with which sub- 
sequent directorates have read that last sentence. In fact 
the smiles of the same directorate grew more than a 
little lopsided no later than the next spring, learning, as 
they did, that there is considerably more to a western 
tour than merely decreeing it. 

But on Monday, Nov. 24, the Campanini season 
opened with "Tosca," Mary Garden in the name part, 
and this time with her heart's desire of the season before, 
Vanni-Marcoux as Scarpia. Bassi was the Cavaradossi, 
and the discovery was also made on that night that if 
you want to have an altogether exceptional performance 
of "Tosca" it is essential to cast Vittorio Trevisan as the 
sacristan. 

The rest of the first week had performances in this 
order: 

Tuesday — "La Gioconda," with Carolina White, 
Julia Claussen, Ruby Heyl, Aristodemo Giorgini, Titta 
Ruffo, and Henri Scott. 

Wednesday — "Don Quichotte," first time in Chi- 
cago, with Miss Garden, Vanni-Marcoux, and Hector 
Dufranne. 

Thursday afternoon at popular prices — "Madame 
Butterfly," with Alice Zeppilli, Margaret Keyes, Bassi, 
and Francesco Federici. 

Thursday night — "Die Walkure," with Jane Os- 
born-Hannah, Margaret Keyes, Julia Claussen, Charles 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 25 

Dalmores, Henri Scott, and Clarence Whitehill. The 
afternoon performance was unexpectedly comic; the eve- 
ning unexpectedly fine. 

The house was dark on Friday night, but on Satur- 
day afternoon there was an announcement of historic 
value. The opera was "Aida," and in the cast were no 
less debutantes than Rosa Raisa as ATda and Cyrena Van 
Gordon as Amneris, some of the others in the cast being 
Bassi, Scott, Giovanni Polese, and Gustave Huberdeau. 
In the evening came the thirtieth and final performance 
of "Natoma," as told a little time previously, with the 
composer, Victor Herbert, conducting. Alice Zeppilli had 
the name part, and Mrs. Osborn-Hannah, George Ham- 
lin, Mr. Scott, and Mr. Dufranne were others in the 
cast. 

It was a week to give people something to think 
about. The "Tosca" passed as just a good performance, 
Miss Garden singing in French to the Italian of the rest 
of the cast, Mr. Vanni-Marcoux working his sinister plots 
to the entire satisfaction of the audience, if not with quite 
the horrifying shock that had been confidently expected 
from the telegraphic reports. 

But "Don Quichotte" sent people away with a sense 
of high satisfaction. It is one of Massenet's later operas 
and by no means his best musically, though a few seasons 
later we were to hear in "Cleopatra" how sad an operatic 
score can be when its composer's invention has been com- 
pletely worked out, but Vanni-Marcoux and Dufranne 
made a startling, vivid, memorable bit of fantasy out of 
its acting values, and Miss Garden surprised every one 
with her entire competence in the performance of some 
reasonably entertaining coloratura display music. Prop- 



126 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

erly cast, the piece would make an interesting revival now. 

From the point of view of the present day, the 
most important event of the week was the Saturday after- 
noon performance, since Miss Raisa and Miss Van Gor- 
don were destined to become notable figures in the Chi- 
cago Opera. At this time they were both very young. 
Miss Raisa's chief asset in the performance, since her 
youthful good looks were greatly obscured by her dark 
makeup, was a voice the like of whose power had never 
been heard on that stage. 

Campanini was spoken to about her and her voice. 
His reply in effect was : "I know she is young now and 
not fully developed artistically, but mark my word, one 
of these days she will be known all over the world as one 
of the greatest dramatic sopranos." And Miss Raisa was 
once quoted as saying: "Oh, you think I sing loud here? 
You ought to hear me in South America, where they 
really like loud singing." 

This "Aida" performance had one incident un- 
planned and unexpected. The Nile scene was drawing 
near to its close, and Campanini, baton in hand, 
was just swinging into Radames' phrase, "I am dishon- 
ored," when suddenly two Ethiopian gentlemen from 
South State street who had taken part in the triumph 
scene, derby hats tip-tilted over left ears, were observed 
casually walking up the bed of the Nile and through its 
"water." They had mistaken the way out from the stage. 
Radames, A id a, and two hundred Egyptian soldiers 
helped chase them off the stage, and they say that Cam- 
panini's remarks established a new record for fervency. 
Meanwhile the audience laughed as no grand opera audi- 
ence is ever supposed to laugh. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 27 

Then came Ruffo again as Rigoletto, another suc- 
cess; a greatly daring repetition of "The Girl of the 
Golden West," which by this time was very far from 
being a success; another "Samson and Delilah," which by 
this time was better liked than when it was first played 
two years before; and finally a novelty for Ruffo. This 
was "Cristoforo Colombo," a supposedly historical opera 
by Baron Albert Franchetti, in which Ruffo appeared as 
Columbus, Miss Raisa as Queen Isabella of Aragon, and 
a lot of others in a lot of other roles which just now do 
not matter in the least. 

Although up to that time unheard in America, it was 
by no means a new work, since Baron Franchetti — the 
nobility went in heavily for composition in those days — 
had written it for the four hundred years' celebration in 
Genoa, Italy, in 1892. Disclosed in Chicago, it was dis- 
covered to have two acts of well-made, theatrically accu- 
rate music without any trace of transfiguring inspiration. 
As to its plot, Eric De Lamarter wrote this in the Inter 
Ocean: 

"It is not an opera according to our pet formulas. 
It is lacking in any emotional appeal. It is strenuously 
celibate as to passion. It is carefully guarded from any- 
thing approaching dramatic action. It is a series of ani- 
mated pictures, which are little more than pages from a 
diary Columbus did not write. 

"The first act showed how the mob jeered the ex- 
plorer, then admired him, then hated him again, and 
finally went away from the convent courtyard crushed by 
the doubt as to whether Columbus ought to be stoned or 
his protector respected. Then the queen prays fifteen 



128 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

minutes in the top soprano register and hands him her 
jeweled crown. 

"The second act passes on shipboard. Sailors run 
hither and thither. One makes a wonderful effort at sea- 
manship and throws the jib-sheets overboard. Another 
discovers the compass two decks below the helmsman's 
aerie and is surprised to find it disagreeing with the 
course. There is fear in the ship's crew, which would have 
filled a whole armada of Pintas with loveliness in breeches 
— and subsequently there is attempted mutiny. Columbus 
quiets all these outbursts, even to the compass. 

"Then comes a truly inspiring scene in the sighting 
of land. The discoverer is overcome with emotion, the 
numerous crew strains at the leash of decorum in express- 
ing their joy, the dawn throws a rich red light upon the 
bridge deck and, in a grandiloquent outburst from the 
orchestra, the curtain comes down. It is a most effective 
scene. 

"Lastly, the hero is found at the catafalque of his 
dead queen, and, in grief at his misfortunes, dies at the 
bier." 

So "Cristoforo Colombo" did not last long. 

It is possible that the demise of some of these works 
was hastened by the stage management, especially the 
lighting department, which continued to be a cause of joy 
or sorrow depending upon the amount of irreverence in 
the mind of the beholder. I find a comment written at this 
time about the change of illumination in the first act of 
"La Boheme," always a tricky time for the electrician, 
to the effect that light is stated by the physicists to travel 
at the rate of a good many thousand miles to the second 
but that in the land of grand opera, particularly in the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 29 

land of the Chicago grand opera, it travels about as fast 
as a lame man can walk. The same report tells that in 
the second act the choristers part of the time had to use 
their mouths to sing through; in the intervals they used 
them for confidential communications at top voice which 
were audible as far as the sixth row from the back of the 
main floor. 

The novelties continued. Arnold Winternitz on 
December 9 conducted a piece by Wilhelm Kienzl called 
"Le Ranz des Vaches," in which his wife, Marta Dorda, 
took the principal soprano part. In spite of its title it 
had little to do with cows, but with the Swiss guard 
during the French revolution and a proscribed Swiss song 
whose name is the name of the opera. The slaughter by 
guillotine of the most high-minded members of the cast 
was paralleled later in Giordano's possibly more effective 
"Andrea Chenier," otherwise there might be an occa- 
sional performance of "Le Ranz des Vaches" these days, 
for it had a lot of charming music in it, with much use 
of Swiss folk tunes and French court dances and 
bergerettes. 

Alice Zeppilli did an energetic job of double service 
by singing Gilda in "Rigoletto" with Ruffo in Italian on 
Saturday afternoon and Marguerite in "Faust" in Eng- 
lish the same evening. For among Campanini's other ac- 
tivities, he had ordered a complete set of Saturday night 
English performances at popular, or half prices. The 
English series was greeted with the calm demeanor and 
lack of interest which the advocates of opera in English 
have always insisted would be transformed into educa- 
tional stimulus and rapt enthusiasm were all operas given 
in English. One of the most puzzling features of all the 



130 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

puzzling business of presenting opera is that anything so 
logically impeccable as opera in English should be so 
economically discouraging when it is tried. But the season 
went on with undiminished fervor. 

"The Barber of Seville," in which Ruffo was im- 
mense as Figaro, opened the week. Then came the debut 
of Lucien Muratore in "Faust," as handsome a person as 
ever had been a tenor matinee idol gifted with a glorious 
voice, trained in the traditions of French acting. Lina 
Cavalieri, who had been announced to appear with him 
as Marguerite, did not do so, resigning her place to Miss 
Zeppilli. In fact she did not appear at all, although also 
announced in the name part of "Fedora" on the Saturday 
afternoon of the same week. Wherefore "Faust" was 
sung again on Saturday, and Muratore's two perform- 
ances in it brought him enough acclaim for twenty artists. 
The excuse made for Cavalieri's non-appearance was rheu- 
matism, but years later, after their separation, she told 
the press a different story. She said that Muratore was 
jealous and would not let her sing then or any other time. 

Ruffo came to the front again in the name part of 
Mozart's "Don Giovanni," a role which he should 
gently but firmly have been argued out of ever singing 
at all. For the Mozart opera contained few high notes 
for him to trumpet forth and his audience to get hysterical 
over, and it was about as far from his manner dramati- 
cally as vocally. Vittorio Trevisan, however, was bully as 
Masetto. Wherefore it was now time for another novelty. 

It was "Zingari," by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, and 
Leoncavallo himself came on to conduct its first two and 
only two performances in Chicago. In advance it looked 
like a time for jubilation. "Pagliacci," by the same com- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 131 

poser, had always and has always ranked as an operatic 
best seller — it was paired with "Zingari" that night, and, 
as usual, Ruffo as Tonio — and all the admirers of 
"Pagliacci" bought tickets for "Zingari," prepared to 
welcome another work hoped to be of the same order. 

Curiously enough, however, and with the best in- 
tentions in the word, Leoncavallo never scored conclu- 
sively except with the one opera. The music of "Zingari" 
was melodious, uncomplex, warm, dramatic, everything 
that a score should be, but it was never given again. Per- 
haps the story had something to do with it, for in the 
work the injured tenor lured the erring soprano and bari- 
tone into a barn, locked them in, and set fire to the build- 
ing. The thought of broiled prima donna and toasted 
baritone was a little too much for a public inured though 
it might have been to many sorts and varieties of unusual 
operatic deaths. 

But the audience that night made a festival of it 
anyway. To an accompaniment of blistering palms, no 
curtain fell without recalling composer and singers before 
it at least ten times and sometimes more. Leoncavallo 
scarcely had time to change into dry clothing, for he 
fairly steamed with perspiratory energy while at the 
baton. At one time and another, however, he found time 
to bestow public kisses upon Miss White, who was in 
"Zingari," upon Ruffo, and finally upon the stage director 
of the company, Fernand Almanz. The last was the most 
impressive of all. The sight of two tightly waistcoated 
but well rounded fagades rolling up on each other so that 
two pairs of leonine mustaches might meet in osculation 
was a spectacle seldom to be equaled and never to be 
forgotten. 



CHAPTER XI 

Mary Garden returned at this point to open in "Le 
Jongleur de Notre Dame," again making it one of the 
most elusive, deft and rarely lovely performances in her 
long gallery of portraits. Then she and Ruffo combined 
forces in a performance of "Thais." Some one had hinted 
beforehand that relations between the two artists were 
not entirely cordial, that Ruffo had told some of his 
friends that the star part of this performance was going 
to be Athanael, and that Miss Garden had been told of 
the remark. In any event, it developed into a highly 
diverting artistic battle between the two. 

It was a tactical error on Ruffo's part for two rea- 
sons: one that here was another part written too low 
for his effective register, another that he was confronting 
an extremely adroit and resourceful artist who considered 
that the star part of the opera was Thais herself. Ruffo 
had all the first scene and half the second in which to 
register himself. He did his best, but then Miss Garden 
appeared, letting out a few extra convolutions in her 
pantomime and personality, and the rest of the opera was 
a complete rout for the baritone. He had enough. Never 
again was the Italian evangelist to busy himself with the 
wiles of the French-Scotch-American charmer. 

Muratore appeared with Mme. Claussen in "Carmen" 
and was acclaimed the finest of all the Don Joses, Mme. 

133 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 33 

Claussen's section of the performance also receiving high 
praise for its remarkable singing, if not for its histrionic 
witcheries. Also Frieda Hempel came on for two per- 
formances in "Traviata" and "Lucia di Lammermoor," 
and was praised in both. Meanwhile rehearsals were 
going on for the first performance by this company of 
Wagner's "Parsifal." Artists were feverishly active, and, 
since the performance was scheduled to begin at 4:30 
o'clock in the afternoon, Chicago men were wondering 
whether they should wear afternoon garb, evening dress, 
or business suits, or whether under the circumstances it 
might not be better to stay away altogether. The per- 
formance finally came to pass on Sunday, Jan. n. The 
cast: 

Amfortas Clarence Whitehill 

Titurel Henri Scott 

Gurnemanz Allen Hinckley 

Parsifal Charles Dalmores 

Klingsor Hector Duf ranne 

Kundry Minnie Saltzmann-Stevens 

A Voice Ruby Heyl 

First Knight . . . .Desire Defrere 

Second Knight Constantin Nicolay 

First Esquire Beatrice Wheeler 

Second Esquire Ruby Heyl 

Third Esquire Ralph Errolle 

Fourth Esquire Stanislaus Grundgand 

Klingsor's flower maidens 
Group I — 

Amy Evans, Minnie Egener, Helen Warrum 
Group II — 

Mabel Riegelman, Alice Zeppilli, Marta Dorda 

Conductor Cleofonte Campanini 



134 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

This was an uncommonly good cast, Mr. Whitehill 
doing a particularly fine performance, but it was scarcely 
a German cast, though most of the leading principals had 
received their training for it in Germany. Some of the 
lesser principals had never sung in German before, how- 
ever, and the strange language annoyed them intensely. 
Mr. Nicolay, an able linguist in several tongues, was one 
of these. In a pained tone he once said to me: 

"My friend, I wake up in the middle of the night, 
I think of those German words, and I assure you I break 
into a transpiration." 

The success of the performance was marked though 
badly handicapped. For Mr. Hinckley had suddenly de- 
veloped a violent cold, and, though starting each act in 
fair voice, he became huskier and huskier, almost to the 
point of complete inaudibility before the fall of the 
curtain. And "Parsifal" uncut, too. 

But Mr. Whitehill, Mr. Dalmores, Mr. Dufranne, 
and Mrs. Saltzmann-Stevens were splendid, and Mr. Cam- 
panini was fine beyond all telling. He convinced the most 
pronounced of all the Baireuthians that he knew his 
Wagner, not only its merits, but its conventions as well. 

Florence Macbeth was one of the season's debu- 
tantes, and every one liked her. She had had the misfor- 
tune of being overadvertised; some misguided individual 
got the statement into print that she was a second Patti, 
which would have been an absurd thing to say if a second 
Patti had actually come. But Miss Macbeth was young 
and talented, and in "The Barber of Seville" and the 
aged "La Sonnambula," as sleepy as its name, she made 
a definite success for herself. 

Frances Alda did a Mimi in "La Boheme," not al- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 35 

together well, and then Miss Garden and Mr. Muratore 
came together for the first time in Massenet's "Manon." 
This time the tactical error was hers. For nearly four 
years a steady battle among opera goers had been raging 
about the relative tensities of her singing and acting, the 
theory in favor of her singing being, as nearly as can be 
learned from reading contemporary articles on the sub- 
ject, that anything which the world at large considered a 
bad tone was merely the world's ignorance, that in reality 
such a tone should be considered an interpretation of the 
most profound dramatic import. However, the most 
unbridled of her defenders were forced to admit that as 
far as "Manon" was concerned, Mr. Muratore had a 
delightful evening. 

Melba restored the balance of "La Boheme" by 
coming and singing Mimi as only Melba could at that 
time; Campanini gave his fourth annual dinner to the 
directors of the opera company and the musical critics — 
these were solemn but noble affairs; — it was permitted 
to be made public that operatic activities were costing 
$50,000 a week — the cost has raised since then; — and 
the last novelty of the season went on. 

On Wednesday night, Jan. 28, Chicago got its first 
view of "Monna Vanna," and it registered as an event. 
Miss Garden appeared as Vanna, Muratore as Prinzi- 
valle, Vanni-Marcoux as Guido, and Gustave Huberdeau 
as Marco. This, ladies and gentlemen, was a cast! It 
would be hard to find weaker music than Henri Fevrier 
wrote for this piece, but Maeterlinck had been inspired 
to write a great play and a great operatic libretto, all in 
the same motion. Whatever Miss Garden had lost in her 
ill-advised "Manon" venture, she regained and more in 



136 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

"Monna Vanna," for the work is so constructed that the 
soprano and tenor can never compete but must always 
cooperate. It was a piece that touched Miss Garden's 
brilliant imagination, Mr. Muratore's as well, and for a 
number of years they used to appear together in it with 
striking success. One may add also, that Joseph Urban 
had constructed three stage settings nearly as imaginative 
and as fine as the performance. 

"Parsifal" was repeated, this time with Mr. Hinck- 
ley restored to voice, and on the final Friday evening of 
the season a "grand gala" performance was given accord- 
ing to the custom of all operatic seasons. This ceremony 
has always been one of the most amusing features of the 
whole business of opera giving. For some reason, per- 
haps justified by receipts, it has always been considered 
that an evening made up of disjointed and separate acts 
of opera must always exert a tremendous lure on the 
minds of ticket buyers. Perhaps it is the bargain idea, 
the possibility of hearing many stars though ever so 
briefly in one evening. At that, it frequently happens that 
some of the most noted stars find it possible not to appear 
on a gala evening. 

However, here was the gala bill of Jan. 30, 19 14: 

1. Act II of "Samson and Delilah," with Julia 
Claussen, Charles Dalmores, and Hector Dufranne; con- 
ductor, Marcel Charlier. 

2. Act III of "Aida," with Carolina White, Beatrice 
Wheeler, Amadeo Bassi, Giovanni Polese, and Henri 
Scott; conductor, Ettore Perosio. 

3. Mad scene from "Lucia di Lammermoor," Flor- 
ence Macbeth; conductor, Attilio Parelli; followed by the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 37 

"Tannhauser" overture, conducted by Cleofonte Cam- 
panini. 

4. Act II of "Tosca," with Mary Garden, Amadeo 
Bassi, and Giovanni Polese; conductor, Cleofonte Cam- 
panini. 

5. Act III of "La Boheme," with Rosa Raisa, 
Mabel Riegelman, Aristodemo Giorgini and Francesco 
Federici; conductor, Giuseppe Sturani. 

6. Ballet divertissement by Rosina Galli, premiere 
danseuse etoile, and corps de ballet. 

This ought to have been enough for any one, and 
was, especially as a few were favored with a spectacle not 
granted to the audience at large. The few who happened 
to be back stage that night — yes, that was another dif- 
ference between old times and new, one was occasionally 
permitted behind the scenes during a performance — saw 
Miss Galli in a shower of enraged tears because at first 
she had been billed in the fourth position and then trans- 
ferred because Miss Garden wanted the place. 

Stormy as she was, there was a limit to her display 
of temperament, and it consisted of her sitting before the 
mirror and carefully mopping the tears out of the corners 
of her eyes with a bit of absorbent cotton so as not to 
streak her makeup, meanwhile telling what she thought 
of Miss Garden, Campanini, and most of the members 
of the Chicago Opera in voluble and exceedingly pointed 
Italian. This contest between volcanic rage and personal 
caution afforded one of the most interesting psychological 
spectacles that the Chicago Opera ever produced. 

A final performance of "Martha," a note from Cam- 
panini to the newspapers thanking one and all for their 
kind attention and promising better things for his next 



I38 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

season, and the company departed on its western tour. 

To the unconcealed horror of the directorate, instead 
of a profit of $68,000 as on the previous season, there 
was a net loss of something like $250,000, and the com- 
pany came back in what can only be described as ostenta- 
tious silence. The directors saw the world through a haze 
of blue for months afterwards, but held a meeting in 
May wherein Campanini and Business Manager Ulrich 
were formally absolved from blame for the deficit. 

In a further effort at recovery they began to make 
plans for the next season — 

And then came more fireworks. 



CHAPTER XII 

The war broke out in 19 14, and the directors 
promptly tossed their operatic project overboard. In fact, 
promptly is hardly the word to describe the case. They 
acted with a speed so bewildering as almost to require a 
mathematical symbol to fit the case. 

At one time and another I have heard their action 
named as unsporting, especially as the Metropolitan 
Opera Company carried on in New York, the Chicago 
Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, and for that matter, 
the Chicago Opera itself when the United States later 
took a hand in the conflict. But while it is impossible to 
think of them as being in any way audacious in conduct, 
complete justice needs the qualification that they had 
just suffered what then was considered a heavy loss, and 
in addition, the summer of 19 14 was no time to formulate 
clear ideas on any subject. 

So they found themselves with an opera company 
and many contractual obligations on their hands, and no 
season or any other chance of income. There was only 
one thing left to do and they did it. With equal speed 
they threw the Chicago Grand Opera Company into bank- 
ruptcy, and that was the end of Chicago's first operatic 
organization. 

Many of the company's debts were in the form of 
contracts with the singers for the season which was not 
to take place. The company, as a corporation, denied all 

139 



140 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

such claims, basing its stand on the clause in all contracts 
reading thus : 

"Furthermore, the company has the right to abro- 
gate the contract in case of fire or destruction of the 
theatre, in case of war, of epidemic, or of the closing of 
the theatre by the authorities." 

It became a nice point, as lawyers say, whether the 
war restriction should be construed to mean that the 
United States was at war or not. But what was of more 
interest to the public was that during the bankruptcy pro- 
ceedings most of these contracts became public informa- 
tion. Up to that time what the singers earned had been 
only a matter of gossip, the company taking the possibly 
not unjustified point of view that it was none of the 
public's business what was paid. 

So it came out in the newspapers that Mary Garden 
was being paid $1,600 a performance with a minimum 
guarantee of fifty performances a year, totaling $80,000; 
that Maria Kousnezoff, who was not to come until later, 
was to have $1,500 a performance; Mme. Ernestine 
Schumann-Heink and Lucien Muratore $1,200 each a 
performance; Titta Ruffo $2,000 a performance and 
Alice Zeppilli half that sum; and Maria Barrientos, who 
was under contract but never came to the company, 
$1,500 a performance. 

From another and less official, but seemingly accu- 
rate list compiled by the Musical Courier for the seasons 
before, it was learned that Dippel had been paid $22,500 
a year, Campanini $30,000 a year, and Ulrich $10,000 a 
year. Of the singers during that period — the list was long 
and unnecessary to reproduce fully here — it appeared 
that Olive Fremstad had sung four performances at 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 141 

$1,000 each; that Johanna Gadski had come on the pe- 
culiar looking basis of singing four performances at $ 1 ,000 
each and then of adding two performances gratis; Minnie 
Saltzmann-Stevens, ten performances at $250 each, later 
raised to fifteen performances for $6,000; Jane Osborn- 
Hannah, twenty performances at $350 each; Helen Stan- 
ley, five months, $5,000; Tetrazzini, $2,000 a perform- 
ance, the first season eight of them and the second, which 
included the tour, twenty-eight; Maggie Teyte, $300 a 
performance, later raised to $400; Amadeo Bassi, $800 a 
performance for forty-five of them; Charles Dalmores, 
the same rate for fifty; George Hamlin $200 each, later 
raised to $300; and John McCormack, ten weeks at 
$1,200 a week. 

There were some ten pages of singers in the bank- 
ruptcy petition, all with claims not recognized by the 
company, but all with a year's income to be wiped out. 
It is not the only time in history that there has existed 
a certain feeling of cynicism toward singers by manage- 
ments and vice versa. Perhaps it is a compensation for 
the idealizing adoration exhibited toward them by the 
public. 

About $350,000 more of debts were scheduled by 
the company, the largest single item being a promissory 
note for $260,000 held by Harold F. McCormick, which 
would seem to have had an intimate bearing on the opera- 
tions of the company during the 19 13-14 season. The 
announced assets were $9,000 in cash, $25,000 worth of 
scenery and costumes that cost $400,000, and outstanding 
accounts to the amount of about $25,000, in other words, 
less than $60,000 as against some $700,000 of claims. 

So that was that. Chicago's opera that season con- 



142 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

sisted of a visit from the Century Opera Company, an 
English singing organization which had been appearing 
at the Century Theatre in New York, under the direction 
of the brothers, Milton and Sargent Aborn. 

It came in November and stayed eight weeks, inci- 
dentally going into the permanent silence at the end of 
that time, a fact that I have never heard mentioned by 
the opera-in-English enthusiasts. Nothing has ever been 
the matter with the enthusiasm of this group. The only 
trouble is that either from lack of numbers or lack of 
desire they do not buy enough tickets. 

The Century Opera Company was neither in num- 
bers nor in brilliancy comparable to the defunct Chicago 
company or the continuing Metropolitan, but it was 
an entirely respectable organization claiming about 
220 members in its various departments, and with such 
artists as Orville Harrold, Morgan Kingston, Louis 
Ewell, Helen Stanley, Kathleen Howard, and Louis 
Kreidler among its leading artists. Otto H. Kahn was one 
of its principal stockholders, and the chairman of its board 
of directors. In its repertoire were such works as "Lohen- 
grin," "Traviata," "The Jewels of the Madonna," 
"Faust," "Madame Butterfly," "Carmen," and "La Bo- 
heme," to name only a few, and for some entirely inex- 
plicable reason, "William Tell." That moribund work 
was given during the Chicago season, the first time, so 
they said, in twenty years. This was often enough. The 
overture rightly continues to be put on orchestral pro- 
grams, but little of the rest belongs anywhere outside of 
a museum of antiquities. 

One of the company's achievements was the celebra- 
tion on Dec. 14, 19 14, of the twenty-fifth anniversary of 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 43 

the opening of the Auditorium. As on the opening per- 
formance, the opera was "Romeo and Juliet," Miss Ewell 
singing the part of Juliet which had been done by Patti 
a quarter century before. It is remembered as a rather 
able performance, though with an ending not contem- 
plated by Gounod and probably never done by Patti. 
Miss Ewell in Juliet's death throes fell off the bier and 
rolled down the steps, continuing her roll until she had 
gone beyond the curtain line. There she lay, but when 
the curtain began to fall, with a commendable desire not 
to be cut off altogether from her friends and associates 
in Verona, she rolled back again until she was within the 
margin of safety. A more dependable corpse never died. 

Chicago's own opera, however, was destined to re- 
vive. On March 17, 19 15, a statement signed by President 
Harold F. McCormick and issued by Vice-President 
Charles G. Dawes, told that on the following season there 
would be opera again, and that a guarantee of $110,000 
a year for two years had been secured. Campanini was 
again to be the general director and Ulrich the business 
manager. A list of the guarantors followed. It included 
the names of Robert Allerton, J. Ogden Armour, the 
Blackstone Hotel, E. B. Butler, Carson, Pirie, Scott & 
Co., the Congress Hotel, R. T. Crane, Charles G. Dawes, 
Marshall Field & Co., F. T. Haskell, Charles L. Hutch- 
inson, Samuel Insull, L. B. Kuppenheimer, W. V. Kelley, 
A. J. Lichtstern, W. A. Lydon, Harold F. McCormick, 
John J. Mitchell, Max Pam, George F. Porter, Julius 
Rosenwald, Martin A. Ryerson, John G. Shedd, Charles 
A. Stevens & Bros., Frank D. Stout, and Edward F. 
Swift. 

Thus began for a period of seven years the second 



144 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

phase of Chicago's opera. For when the two years' guar- 
antee period had expired, a similar one of five years was 
put together. On Dec. 15, 1916, Mr. Dawes made an entr'- 
acte speech to the operatic audience explaining the fact, 
and naming as the new guarantors J. Ogden Armour, 
Count Giulio Bolognesi, R. T. Crane, Charles G. Dawes, 
Charles L. Hutchinson, Samuel Insull, N. M. Kaufman, 
L. B. Kuppenheimer, A. J. Lichtstern, Cyrus H. McCor- 
mick, Mrs. Edith Rockefeller McCormick, Harold F. 
McCormick, John J. Mitchell, Max Pam, Julius Rosen- 
wald, Martin A. Ryerson, John G. Shedd, Mrs. H. H. 
Spaulding, Frank D. Stout, and Edward F. Swift. 

A new company was incorporated under the legal 
name of the Chicago Opera Association, and as soon as 
passage could be arranged through the troublous lines of 
war, Campanini went abroad to see what could be done 
about assembling a new roster of artists and repertoire of 
operas. 



CHAPTER XIII 

The going in 19 15-16, the first season of the new 
Chicago Opera Association, was not altogether easy. 
War and a year's intermission had had their effects in 
scattering operatic forces. Miss Garden elected to stay 
in Paris; Miss Raisa was in other parts of the world in 
pursuit of operatic fame; Ruffo did not come back, nor 
did Sammarco. As a matter of fact the new company 
had not been organized until the spring of that year and 
Campanini's hands had been tied up to that time. When 
he was finally permitted to begin assembling his com- 
pany, a good many artists that he would have liked to 
secure were engaged elsewhere, and he was obliged to 
get along with what he could find. Under the circum- 
stances he made a remarkable showing, bringing back a 
company that was weak in certain spots, to be sure, but 
with many figures to keep interest alive. 

On Monday night, November 15, the curtain went 
up once again, to open the new season with "La Gio- 
conda." In the cast were Emmy Destinn, Frances Ingram, 
Eleanora de Cisneros, Amadeo Bassi, Mario Ancona, 
and Vittorio Arimondi, Campanini conducting. Then 
came "Louise," with two newcoming women, Louise 
Edvina in the name part and Jeanne Mauborg as the 
mother, Dalmores as Julien, and Dufranne as the father, 
with Marcel Charlier conducting. 

On Wednesday night came "Tristan and Isolde," with 
145 



146 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Francis Maclennan and Olive Fremstad in the name 
parts, Julia Claussen as Brangaene, Clarence Whitehill as 
Kurvenal, James Goddard as King Mark, and Graham 
Marr as Melot, Egon Pollak conducting. 

As has been said, Campanini was an internationalist 
in music and saw no reason for taking operatic sides 
between warring nations. Sometime later people began 
to see a sinister and deep laid plot against the peace and 
well-being of the American republic in Wagner's music. 
The feeling grew so strong that in time Campanini, much 
against his will, had to yield to it, but that season and 
the next he decreed plenty of Wagner, the work just 
mentioned, the four sections of the Nibelungen Ring, 
"Parsifal," and others. The great disservice to the Wag- 
nerian cause was to give the operas in their uncut ver- 
sions, and, for American audiences, this manner in 
time grew to be a great bore. Three hours of opera in 
America was ever better than five. In Germany the case 
is different. There, somehow, one soon gets into a lei- 
surely way of doing things, operatically and otherwise, 
but in America there is always the feeling that it ought 
to be made snappy — and briefer than Wagner planned. 

Campanini from the beginning had done much in the 
Wagnerian cause, engaging the best singers available, 
sometimes conducting personally but in any event always 
having a good conductor. Dr. Szendrei had been excellent 
and had made a fine impression until one day in an un- 
diplomatic moment he had given out an interview an- 
nouncing himself as a bearer of Wagnerian light into 
Chicago dark places. It was just another case of a for- 
eigner talking of things that he knew nothing about, 
but its complacently condescending tone stirred operatic 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 47 

patrons to wrath, and Szendrei was not reengaged. 
Winternitz had been another good conductor, the war 
intervening to keep him away. Pollak was the best of all. 
Loomis Taylor was engaged as stage manager for the 
German series, the first one ever able to make the scenery 
behave and keep the lights from stuttering. Pollak was 
a first rate leader, and the cast shows what kind of singers 
Campanini engaged for him to lead. When "Siegfried" 
was reached there was a new sensation in the person of 
Florence Easton (Maclennan), as Briinnhilde. She sang 
only once that season, but she became the most talked 
about person of the company. Her performance was a 
revelation of beautiful voice and perfectly placed tone. 
And the "Tannhauser" rendition on Thanksgiving night 
assumed a fame not entirely warranted by the perform- 
ance because the program gravely announced that the first 
scene of the first act was laid in "The Interior of Venus." 

The first week continued with Massenet's 
"Werther," sung by Muratore, Conchita Supervia, Du- 
franne and Nicolay, and conducted by another new di- 
rector, Rodolfo Ferrari. "La Boheme" brought Melba 
back to sing with Bassi, Irene Pavloska, Marcel Journet, 
and Ancona, and the week closed with "Monna Vanna," 
with Marguerite Beriza, Muratore, and Alfred Mague- 
nat, Campanini conducting. 

This last was the occasion of one of the many press 
agent stories that have attached to the company. An 
earnest press agent called up the city editor of an after- 
noon newspaper to say that Muratore was singing with 
his former wife, Beriza, while his then wife, Lina Cav- 
alieri, was sitting in a box, and, in the opinion of the city 
editor, wasn't that a good story? 



148 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

The city editor in a tired voice answered, "Yes, 
that's always a good story. Send it over." For the same 
set of persons had been associated in the same manner 
in Boston the season before, and that city editor had 
been city editor of a Boston paper at that time and had 
printed the story. 

One notices a tendency in the newspapers about this 
time to use less congratulatory gush about the opera com- 
pany and more earnest and sometimes pointed criticisms. 
In reality they were treating the company more seriously, 
opening up more possibilities than they had ever done 
before. An editorial in the Journal has this: 

"At a recent performance of 'The Valkyrie,' thir- 
teen of the fourteen principal performers were Ameri- 
cans, and the other was a Swede. To give this opera in 
German, therefore, required all the singers to use an 
alien tongue and one familiar to only a small part of the 
audience. It demanded a special effort on the part of 
every singer to keep the listeners from understanding the 
text! Could absurdity go farther?" 

And about this time there was something queer by 
Saint-Saens called "Dejanire" in which Muratore was 
called on to act a neurotic looking Hercules. It had the 
musical qualities of clarity, logic and symmetry, and not 
the slightest trace of effectiveness for the theater. Percy 
Hammond dropped in to see part of it and fell afoul of 
its dramatic characteristics thus in the Tribune: 

"Through a barbarian in a leopard's skin at the 
opera, I found the way to happiness at Wednesday 
night's performance of 'Dejanire.' Arriving at the begin- 
ning of the last act, I resolved myself into a state of mind 
— as one who, liking burlesque, should say, 'Here is a 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 49 

burlesque of opera, done most seriously, as burlesque 
should be done, with all its vices slightly exaggerated.' 
Mr. Muratore's singing of the nuptial hymn was so 
showy and effective that I was at first disappointed; but 
at once the burlesque began. It was just as Weber and 
Fields would have done it in the old days. The funny 
postures, the funny, awkward ballet, the meek, round- 
shouldered supers in armor, and the chorus in a comic 
frieze surrounding it all were the quintessence of trav- 
esty. Mr. Muratore climbed upon a strange structure 
resembling a Fenimore Cooper log cabin and steam pipes 
began to hiss and spout on all sides of him. He was 
supposed to be upon a pyre, and the steam represented 
smoke and flame. You theatergoers will not believe that 
they had a transformation scene at the end, showing the 
hero in heaven, surrounded by seraphim! But they did. 
It was like a large German Christmas card, except that 
it was funny." 

Memories of this season include the appearance of 
Vernon Stiles as Parsifal. Starting in what looked as 
though it would be an adequate performance, more than 
adequate as far as Whitehill, Hinckley, and Fremstad 
were concerned, he had not much more than got into the 
first act when he took a long breath and burst his belt. For 
the rest of the long act he was concerned, not to say 
anxious, about his costume, and he did not take a curtain 
call at the end, for all of which it is easy to pardon him. 

He attempted apologetic explanations to Stage 
Manager Loomis, who dismissed him with the remark, 
"Oh, that's all right, Stiles. I didn't notice anything out 
of the way. I thought it was just another of those 
Baireuth gestures." 



i;0 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IX CHICAGO 

Several visitors from the Metropolitan became vis- 
ible and audible during that period. Albert Reiss came 
on to do his brilliant Mime in "Siegfried" : Margaret 
Matzenauer or Margarete as she called herself then, 
appeared for the Brunnhilde of "Die Gotterdammerung," 
and was magnificent therein: Geraldine Farrar came for 
a whole succession of roles (non-Wagnerian), Carmen, 
Cho-Cho-San, and Marguerite among them, a wise and 
tonic personality who could not help being noticed just 
by being on the stage, though unfortunately with her 
voice not up to what it had been a few seasons before. 

Edvina sang a good many of the Garden roles, plus 
Maliella in "The Jewels of the Madonna," without, how- 
ever, effectually effacing memories of Miss Garden or 
Miss White. The last named artist, by the way. was at 
that time making a tour of the greater vaudeville cir- 
cuits. It occurred to Mme. Edvina and her private ad- 
visers that a little newspaper publicity might not come 
amiss, and at the proper time some of the papers an- 
nounced that she was in possession of an operatic parrot 
capable of singing some of her finest arias and under 
her instruction for the rest. But there the matter rested, 
with no publicized continuation to the tale. 

What happened became known only privately and 
some time afterward. It appeared that a musical parrot 
had been discovered in a Chicago park who was able to 
pipe a few notes approximating a tune if heard with a 
liberal imagination. This was the bird which was to have 
been borrowed, sent to Mme. Edvina's apartments, and 
exhibited before a group of wondering reporters — not 
music critics. 

But there was a slip between the bird cage and the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 5 I 

newspaper item. Some one, probably an employe, mis- 
took the bird, and instead brought down one of similar 
appearance but of long residence in the Panama Canal 
Zone, where it had learned to curse volubly in three lan- 
guages. Everything had been carefully staged for the 
exhibition, but the bird's first manifestation was a burst 
of profanity that abashed even the reporters. The press 
agent took to his heels, and the story was completely 
ruined. No explanation was possible. 

There was Conchita Supervia from Spain who did 
a nice, girlish, little Carmen, a rather pleasant Charlotte 
in "Werther," and as good a Mignon as was ever heard 
on the Auditorium stage. She might have done more, 
but she was ill a good part of the season. There was 
Carmen Melis, singing all sorts of parts and ending with 
Zaza, a performance to be forgotten with great en- 
thusiasm. Then came Campanini's most advertised find 
of the season, Maria Kousnezoff. 

They liked her greatly as Juliet to Muratore's 
Romeo. Muratore, by the way, had been going in great 
shape the whole season. He was at the top of his form 
and was singing magnificently, though James Whittaker 
complained bitterly of the way he used to come to the 
footlights at the end of "Salut, demeure" in "Faust," 
and assume what Whittaker called the tenor spread as 
an invitation to applause. Mme. Kousnezoff was a Rus- 
sian who had lived some time in Spain, acquiring while 
there a Spanish husband and considerable training in 
dancing. As she sang the waltz song in the first act of 
"Romeo and Juliet," she waltzed about the stage without 
pause. The incident should be recorded, if for no other 
reason than that no other soprano before or since ever 



152 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

had that much breath control. Another incident in the 
same performance showed her control of her wits. In the 
last act, as she was leaning over Muratore-Romeo, com- 
plaining that he had used up all the poison in the vial, 
he startled her by saying "Mon dieu, Maria, I haven't 
a dagger on me." Her answer was, "Sing," for he had 
fallen behind the orchestra. Then she turned her back 
on the audience, grasped an imaginary dagger, perforated 
herself with both hands and died an utterly painless 
death. And not a person in the audience knew it. 

She was graceful and rather good looking, she had 
a pleasant and well trained voice, she was alert in all 
matters of costuming and stage devices, but she made 
one serious mistake. She consented to appear in the name 
part of Massenet's "Cleopatra," its first showing in 
Chicago. 

With all its diaphanous costumes and epidermic dis- 
play, its impressive scenery, its long cast, it was one of 
Massenet's latest works, and written after his sense of 
tune had in great part deserted him. Sometime it may 
be an interesting experiment to compile a list of the 
world's worst opera scores, in which case "Cleopatra" 
will undoubtedly take a prominent place. Neither Mme. 
Kousnezoff then nor Miss Garden later was ever able 
to make anything out of it except just another evening 
at the Auditorium. But she serenely appeared in a pi- 
quant, seductive, and rather exhilarating performance of 
"Thais," and every one was happy again. 

The season grew late. As a gesture to American 
composers, Campanini put on Simon Buchalter's "A 
Lover's Knot," which had one consecutive performance 
in that and all following seasons. George Hamlin sang 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 53 

the tenor part in it, also in "Tosca," with which it was 
coupled, and in the latter work made the acquaintance 
of Mme. Melis for the first time when she walked upon 
the stage in the first act. 

The final exploit of the season was what per- 
manently wrecked Campanini's belief in lavish advance 
notices. It was "Don Giovanni." At the beginning of the 
season it had been billed as the operatic treat of the year, 
to be sung by Antonio Scotti, John McCormack, Emmy 
Destinn, Alice Nielsen, and Helen Stanley. It was an- 
nounced for January 3, then postponed to January 19. 
When it finally came to performance, Mr. McCormack 
and Miss Stanley were present, but of the others, Frances 
Rose substituted for Mme. Destinn, Myrna Shadow for 
Miss Nielsen, and Ancona for Scotti, and even then Miss 
Rose had a bad cold. 

At that it might have been much worse. McCor- 
mack, whom the dramatic critics were beginning to com- 
pare favorably with Chauncey Olcott as a singer of Irish 
songs, demonstrated what the musical critics had been 
saying about him for some time, that he was a Mozart 
singer beyond compare. Miss Shadow in the soubrette 
part of Zerlina made a notable hit. Trevisan's Masetto 
was highly praised, and Marcel Journet got by with Le- 
porello. But those who had seen Scotti in the name part 
grew joyous and irreverent over Ancona. 

He had been a fairly competent though never first 
class baritone, and at this time he was getting old, play- 
ing the part of the Don as a stout, elderly person who 
was forever getting into difficulties because he lacked the 
wit to keep out of them. One of his exploits was in the 
first act duel scene. When he drew his sword, it flew to 



154 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

pieces and the fragments spread all over the stage, so 
the Commendatore (James Goddard) died from a thrust 
of Ancona's forefinger. 

Two attendants of the performance were heard dis- 
cussing what they called the Ancona incident, referring 
to the Italian ship of the same name that had suffered 
the fortunes of war. One held that he should be interned 
for the duration of hostilities, the other that he should be 
sunk. And it was by no means understating the case to 
say that Campanini was wrathful. 

There was no tour that year. Campanini had in- 
tended taking the French wing of the company to New 
York, but the plan fell through. The company therefore 
dispersed, but later that season the Auditorium was 
visited by one of the loveliest organizations that ever 
visited Chicago. It was Serge Diaghileff's Ballet 
Russe. For several years Anna Pavlowa had been de- 
lighting audiences with the beautiful perfection of her 
classic art, but here was ballet brought down to modern 
times as dance, as music, and as spectacle. Will any one 
who was present ever forget the breathtaking loveliness 
disclosed by the rise of the curtain upon "L'Oiseau de 
Feu," with "Scheherazade," "Carnaval," "Petrouchka," 
and the rest of the long list to come? 

Opera in America never so much as got started on 
developing ballet to the great art that it became in Russia. 
Unfortunately it never had leaders with the imagination 
to see its possibilities. The visit of the Diaghileff organi- 
zation was a big event. Financially it was a failure — but 
so was the opera. 

And so, on to another season. 



CHAPTER XIV 

This was the season that Chicago made a discovery 
of its own, without previous incitement by press agentry. 
It was called Galli-Curci. 

Science has carefully erased the word magic except 
as a figure of speech from the modern vocabulary, but 
there is one bit of magic that it has never attempted to 
explain. That one is the process by which a musician sud- 
denly gets into the air and overnight becomes a national, 
perhaps an international figure. 

Galli-Curci's is a case in point. Here was a young 
woman whom no one in Chicago had ever heard or heard 
of. Later it was learned that she had had a reasonably 
long and trying apprenticeship, that she had toured, 
trouped is perhaps the more accurate word, in Italy, 
Central America, and points adjacent, that she had 
camped on the doormat of the Metropolitan and been 
refused admission, had sung a week in a movie theater 
under an assumed name and been denied a continuing 
engagement, that Campanini had finally offered her two 
appearances with the promise that they would be all un- 
less she did something to justify keeping her longer. In 
default, in despair of anything better, the publicity herald 
had told of her having a title — which happened to be 
true — and one of the newspapers had printed a picture 
of "Marquise Amelita Gallie-Curci," attributing the title 
to the wrong country and getting the name wrong, which 

155 



156 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

was something of a record even for caption writers. 

In other words, we who went to the Auditorium that 
Saturday afternoon, Nov. 18, 1 9 1 6, were in an entirely 
calm, unhopeful mood, expecting to hear just another per- 
formance of "Rigoletto." For one scene and ten or fifteen 
minutes of the next, that was all it was, just another 
performance. Then things began to happen. 

Suddenly a figure appeared from the door into the 
garden on the left side of the stage, an oval, medieval 
face with a large nose and an ivory pallor, a gracious, 
winsome manner, a throat out of which poured the most 
entrancing tones the generation had ever heard. The 
audience promptly rose up, shouted, screamed, stamped, 
stood on its figurative head, and otherwise demeaned 
itself as no staid, sophisticated Saturday afternoon au- 
dience ever acted before or since. Galli-Curci was made, 
not only for Chicago but for the United States, and 
Campanini hastened back to her dressing room to sign 
her up for other appearances, any number of appear- 
ances, as many as she could sing for the rest of that 
season and all seasons to come. 

This is the magic that happens occasionally in music, 
and, when it happens, compensates for a lot of boredom. 
You cannot explain it. It just happens. Some of the best 
trained, best equipped, most intelligent musicians never 
find it, in fact most of them never do. The technique 
of musicianship has little or nothing to do with it. Galli- 
Curci herself, as we began to discover later, was no nig- 
gling marvel of technical precision. She frequently had 
trouble with her trill, and she sometimes sagged under 
her intended pitch. Never in her life was she within even 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 57 

bowing distance of Tetrazzini's carefree, bewildering 
vocal gestures. 

But she had that delicately lovely, that cream velvet, 
that entrancing quality in her voice, and public and critics 
alike fell down and worshiped. From that afternoon on, 
the whole American public has apparently tried to shove 
the greater part of its opera- and concert-going budget 
into the window of her box office. Yes, there were others 
in the performance that day, Giacomo Rimini as Rigo- 
letto, Juan Nadal making his Chicago debut as the Duke, 
Vittorio Arimondi as Sparafucile, Giuseppe Sturani con- 
ducting, but for all the credit they got in the public prints, 
they might as well have stayed at home. 

Galli-Curci's popularity survived some of the most 
extraordinary press stories ever put out about a singer. 
One of the most unbridled in imagination told how she 
had learned to sing by sitting on a fence and listening 
to the caroling of the birds. Musicians snorted speech- 
lessly at that one, but after all, musicians make only a 
small proportion of another and successful musician's 
following. 

One came in time to recognize her husband about 
the Auditorium, the Marchese Curci, a pale, slender, 
gentle-mannered, soft-spoken person almost completely 
hidden behind a large mass of black whiskers in intensive 
cultivation. Their romance, it seemed, had been that of 
the first act of "Tosca." He had been painting a picture 
in a Roman church, she had chanced to visit the church 
on that day, they had met, had formed a mutual attrac- 
tion, and had married. By the time she came to Chicago, 
his art labors consisted almost entirely of designing 
operatic and concert costumes for her, in which he was 



158 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

greatly successful. They were the best she ever had, with 
a color and line that accentuated and gave atmosphere 
to the medieval charm of her personal appearance. 

Galli-Curci's discovery was not the first perform- 
ance of the season, though if Campanini could have fore- 
seen what was going to happen, it without doubt would 
have been. Rosa Raisa was back after a long absence, 
this time to become one of the company's most depend- 
able and famed permanencies. With her were Giulio 
Crimi, tenor, and Giacomo Rimini, baritone, whom she 
afterwards married. The three opened the season with 
"Aida," and two nights later appeared in "Andrea Che- 
nier." The second night's performance was "Herodiade," 
Elizabeth Amsden and Maria Claessens making Chicago 
debuts, Dalmores, Dufranne, and Marcel Journet also in 
the cast. 

Thursday night was "Le Prophete," an antiquity 
by Meyerbeer that has never seemed worth reviving, 
though Dalmores sang Jean and Mme. Claussen Fides. 
On Friday night Geraldine Farrar and Muratore ap- 
peared in "Carmen"; the Galli-Curci conflagration in 
"Rigoletto" on Saturday afternoon has been mentioned; 
the Saturday night "pop" was "Hansel and Gretel," with 
Dora de Phillippe, Irene Pavloska — she spelled it Paw- 
loska then — and Rosa Olitzka, followed by a pretty but 
unimportant piece composed and conducted by Victor 
Herbert called "Madeleine." 

Another series of Sunday Wagner performances 
began, with Pollak continuing as conductor. In "Das 
Rheingold" the cast was Clarence Whitehill as Wotan, 
Hector Dufranne as Donner, Warren Proctor as Froh, 
Francis Maclennan as Loge, William Beck (ex-Wilhelm; 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 59 

it was war time) as Alberich, Octave Dua as Mime (he 
learned the role here and in "Siegfried" under protest 
for its difficulty and made the success of his life), James 
Goddard and Vittorio Arimondi as the two giants, Julia 
Claussen as Fricka, Marcia Van Dresser as Freia, Cyrena 
Van Gordon as Erda, and Myrna Sharlow, Irene Pavloska 
and Miss Van Gordon as the Rhine maidens. 

A new note in journalism appeared in the Examiner. 
Instead of interviewing the notables of business and 
society about the opening night, the busy reporter called 
on members of the company. So Muratore said it was 
magnificent for about two hundred words, Florence 
Easton said that it was glorious and better than Europe 
could do for about the same length, and Campanini said 
that his heart had been warmed and that he had almost 
felt as though he were in Naples instead of Chicago. 

Alfred Maguenat arrived a few days later with the 
news that his steamship, the Chicago, had been swept by 
fire off the Azores, and that the score, orchestrations, 
costume and scenic designs, in fact the whole paper plan 
of Raoul Gunsbourg's "Venise," up to that time in his 
care, had been destroyed. Apparently no other complete 
copy existed, so one opera was out, but in view of the 
same composer's "Le Vieil Aigle," as done later, there 
began to be opinions that something might be said in 
favor of war. 

Galli-Curci tipped the house over again in "Lucia," 
confirming her "Rigoletto" success so definitely that she 
forthwith went into her long series of coloratura heroines. 
Florence Easton started on some non-Wagnerian parts; 
her first, Nedda in "Pagliacci" stood up firmly by the 



l6o FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

side of Muratore's Canio, which gives some idea of how 
good she was. Coupled with "Pagliacci" according to 
abiding custom was "Cavalleria Rusticana," and Raisa 
did her first glorious Santuzza. 

More German opera. Pollak brought out the wist- 
ful and lovely "Konigskinder," by Humperdinck, with 
Farrar as the goose-girl and Maclennan as the king's 
son, and a first rate cast, not forgetting the pigeons, two 
of which flew out into the body of the house the first 
night and stayed there, and the dozen and a half geese 
that fluttered and squawked and preened themselves with 
anserine disregard of everybody and everything. They 
were features of every performance until the end of the 
season, when Miss Farrar had them slaughtered and 
given to the stage hands. Poor things, when so many 
humans go into opera and are permitted to escape with 
their lives! 

Showing what operatic impresarios have to face at 
certain times, the male chorus, forty-three strong, went 
on strike just before "Die Gotterdammerung" was ready 
to ring up on Sunday afternoon, December 10. The 
Tribune, greatly moved by the occurrence, reported it 
operatically thus: 

Act One 

Bare stage of Auditorium theater, curtain down. Scenery for 
"Gotterdammerung" pushed back. Maestro Campanini, in center 
of stage, facing four chorus men in civilian attire. Forty other 
chorus men in civilian attire, grumbling in group, up center. 

Campanini: 

What means this rest? 
Why aren't you dressed? 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO l6l 

Quartet: 

As a committee we come to you (Come to you) 

To tell you what we're about to do (About to do). 

We want more mon-on-nee, we want more mon-on-nee, 

We won't work on Sun-un-dee 

Without more mon-on-nee. 

Campanini: 

Why won't you sing this day? 
Why won't you work, I say? 
Your answer give me, pray. 
What's the matter with your pay? 

Committee: 

It's not enough, our life is tough, 
We cannot make ends meet. 
We get twenty-four, we're asking more, 
Or we refuse to tweet. 

Campanini {excitedly) : 

I'm slipping you twenty-four bucks per week; 
I couldn't do more for my dad. 
Excuse my emotion, I can hardly speak, 
You make me almighty sad. 

Committee {turning to grumbling group) : 
We are given to understand 
He refuses our just demand. 
The curtain on art is rung. 
Gotter-der-dammerung. 

Act Two 

Auditorium theater alley, stage door back center. 

Stage Manager {flinging open the stage door) : 

Rouse, you lazy louts ; get thee gone from off our stage. 
A curse on your artistic hides, you fairly make me rage. 



1 62 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Strikers (in unison) : 

We are striking, for a living wage ; 

We are martyrs starving for the sake of art. 

Our connections with the opera we now disengage. 

We are asking recognition on the labor mart. 

Stage Manager: 

Silence, stop your clamor, on your noise please put a curb. 
Cease this clatter, end this rabble, lest the singers you disturb. 
The audience is sleeping and your lament must desist. 
They're not wise for a minute — why, you are not even missed. 

Striking Chorus (spying approach of cops in distance) : 
Here come the cops, to chase us wops, 
Now whaddye think of that? 
We'll get fulla hops and break up th' props, 
And show 'em just where they're at. 

The Police (enter left, strikers exit on right) : 
At last here's a cinch for to make a pinch. 
It's only in grand operee — 

In real life we flinch, when we meet in a clinch, 
But this is a regular spree. 
So we're ready to club the very first dub 
Who opens his mouth to shout. 
If he stars a hubbub he'll get trun in de tub, 
In the house that is steel and is stout. 



Back on the stage "Gotterdammerung" is in progress. Octave 
Dua, Belgian tenor, who last spring had some difficulty with a 
young woman in a nickel show, rises to the occasion and breaks 
the strike. In the place of the chorus he sings as follows: 

The horrible things of a celluloid show 
Were vastly beyond belief. 
But I'll be a strike breaker and sing yo-ho, 
And give Campanini relief. 

(Curtain) 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 63 

To be strictly accurate, Dua was joined by Desire 
Defrere, an assistant stage manager named Sam Katz- 
man, and Constantin Nicolay in breaking the strike. A 
quartet sang the Gibichung music instead of over forty. 
But in essence, in spirit, if not in detail, the above ac- 
count is true. Maclennan, Whitehill, and Hinckley were 
in the cast, Matzenauer was borrowed from the Metro- 
politan to sing Briinnhilde, and Easton appeared as Gu- 
trune. The strike broke a day or two later. When the 
strikers found that Campanini was giving "Manon" by 
cutting some of the chorus parts and letting the women 
sing the rest, and that "Rigoletto" went on with the 
choral ministrations of Katzman, Rocco Franzini, Emilio 
Venturini, and Vittorio Trevisan, they grew discouraged, 
and came back just in time to get into "Aida." 

Mary Garden cabled that she was on her way back 
from Paris. 



CHAPTER XV 

Fremstad came on to sing in "Parsifal"; her Kundry 
was a little chipped and worn by advancing years, but 
still an Old Master. Rimini and Raisa appeared for the 
first time in Chicago in "Falstaff," Rimini as Sir John, 
Raisa as Mrs. Page, parts that they have done at inter- 
vals since to the growing delight of their audiences and 
to growing enthusiasm for one of the three great comic 
operas of the world. By a coincidence, Sir Herbert Tree 
was playing in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in a 
Chicago theater at the time, just as in the 1927-28 sea- 
son were Otis Skinner and Mrs. Fiske. Then and there- 
after, the Verdi opera was a better show than the Shake- 
speare play. Sage critics have at one time and another 
remarked that only an Anglo-Saxon can understand 
Shakespeare well enough to act him, but Mr. Rimini was 
unctuous, comic, and, in spite of singing in Italian instead 
of speaking in English, more credible than Mr. Skinner, 
and Miss Raisa was a visual and auditory delight. 

Farrar sang Elisabeth in "Tannhauser" delight- 
fully and a Carmen not so well and departed. Mary 
Garden appeared, announcing that she had lost nineteen 
pounds and that Campanini had told her she had "the 
memory of a fly" with some Italian intensives added 
because she had left her Melisande costumes behind her 
in Paris and he wanted, or said he wanted, to revive the 
Debussy opera. So she appeared as Thais, making it a 

164 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 65 

New Year's eve celebration. Later she appeared in "Le 
Jongleur" and "Carmen," and finally in "Griselidis," a 
Massenet opera that for some reason was never repeated, 
a charming Provencal legend with a devil played by 
Maguenat in peagreen tights and bat wings, Miss Garden 
in a feminine and unfeline part, and some of Massenet's 
pretty music. It was not particularly well cast, with the 
exception of these two, and the public did not take to it. 

Galli-Curci had added Juliet to her list of roles, 
singing it with Muratore as Romeo, and the Auditorium 
was crowded every time they appeared. In the midst of 
an uncommonly busy season she had to jump in one Satur- 
day afternoon for a "Traviata" because Louise Edvina, 
announced for the name part of "Louise," was ill. For 
the most vivid account of the event, the liberty is taken 
of quoting from Ring Lardner as he wrote it for the 
Tribune. 

"Riverside, Jan. 2. 

"Friend Harvey: 

"Well Harvey I fell so hard a year ago for Miss 
Edvina in Armour's D. T. Re that when I seen in Fred 
Donaghue's write ups that she was going to play Louise 
I starved for a week and bought a couple of tickets. The 
show was to come off Saturday P. M. but when we got 
down there they was a sign up saying Miss Edvina had 
a hang nail or something and a hyphen named Miss Galli- 
Curci was going to hit for her and of course they had 
to have her play some other piece on acct. of her name 
not being Louise like Miss Edvina's, but Amelia or some- 
thing. But they have not got no opera named Amelia so 
they asked Miss Galli etc. what she could sing and she 
says La Traviata and that means Lost One in the Wop 



1 66 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

league. We was kind of disappointed but the management 
treated us fine, giving us programs of Louise so as we 
could pretend like that was the opera they were pulling 
off. 

"I suppose they was a hole lot of people that was 
like myself and not habituals at the opera and wanted to 
know who the leading men was but did not have no 
Traviata program and was afraid to ask their neighbors. 
Well Harvey that is where brains comes in. Before the 
show was ^2 over I had 2 of the boys spotted from their 
pictures that was printed in the back part of the program. 
The guy that was stuck on Miss Galli w T as named Creamy 
and his father was Mr. Beck. I could of found out who 
played the Dr. too if he had not of made up his face 
with an old mop. 

"Well Harvey the plot of the piece runs something 
like as follows : Of course the leading lady don't sew for 
a living or it would not be opera. So there having a party 
at Violet's house, Violet being Miss Galli's name on the 
stage. And Creamy, whose name is Alfred on the stage, 
comes to the party and sings tenor solos. So he asks Vio- 
let will she pass up wine women and song for a spell and 
go out in the country with him and spear hazel nuts. And 
she says : 'You know me, Alfred.' 

"So in the next act there down on the farm and 
Violet is paying the bills and Alfred finds out that she 
sold her Ohio Cities Gas to raise money for him to live 
on, so that makes him feel like a rummy and he beats it 
for Paris to raise money to pay her back and he is going 
to sell out his business which is a dairy and that is why 
they call him Creamy. But while he is in Paris his old man 
comes to see Violet and asks her will she please leave his 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 67 

boy alone because his daughter is engaged to one of the 
basses that sings Sunday afternoon only and the bass 
won't go through and marry her if her brother is mixed 
up with a girl that can't sing German opera. So Violet 
agrees to pass up Alfred who is costing her a bbl. of 
money any way, and she goes back to Paris and mates up 
with a guy named Barron and there having a party up 
in Flora's room when Alfred busts in and calls her every 
Italian name he can think of for quitting him. You see 
he thought she just plain quit him and did not know 
nothing about she making a sacrifice, third to first. 

"Well, Alfred and Mr. Barron play a few hands of 
double dummy to give Mr. Beck a chance to clear his 
throat and then he comes in to the party and balls Alfred 
for balling Violet, and Mr. Barron and Alfred are 
matched to go twenty rounds at New Orleans to a 
decision. 

"Of course by this time Violet knows she is going 
to die because the last act is coming and she done the 
same thing in Romeo and Juliet. So she thinks she would 
rather do it in her own room and she goes home. But 
being kind of new in grand opera, she don't know that 
your always supposed to carry a pt. of poison on your 
hip, so she has got to think of some other way. She 
finally solves it by taking a good look at the Dr. Mean 
times Alfred and young Barron have put on a fake fight 
and got chased out of New Orleans and Alfred and his 
old man comes to see Violet die. Alfred has been tipped 
off by his old man about the sacrifice bunt and he is sorry 
he said all them nasty things. So while she is dying he 
stands around and pats the top of his bean to express 



1 68 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

grief, or maybe its to keep the pores open so his head 
tones can get out. 

"Well, Harvey, we catched the 5.43 and come home 
and had dinner and by midnight I was 12 up on Miss 
Galli because she only Lost One and I lost thirteen and 
in a thirty cent limit game at that. 

"Resp. 

"R." 

On the night of Jan. 5, 19 17, Campanini presented 
the first Chicago performance of "Francesca da Rimini," 
music by Riccardo Zandonai, who had composed the pre- 
viously performed "Conchita," book adapted by Tito 
Ricordi from the play of the same name by Gabriele 
d'Annunzio. The cast: 

Francesca Rosa Raisa 

Samaritana Myrna Sharlow 

Ostasio Constantin Nicolay 

Giovanni Giacomo Rimini 

Paolo Giulio Crimi 

Malatestino Emilio Venturini 

Biancofiore Cora Libberton 

Garsenda Alma Peterson 

Altachiara .Myrtle Moses 

Donella Dora de Phillippe 

La Schiava Virginia Shaffer 

Ser Toldo Berardengo Octave Dua 

II Giuliare Vittorio Trevisan 

II Balestriere Desire Defrere 

Conductor Giuseppe Sturani 

Here was an opera that might have succeeded if a 
little more wisdom had been used in its construction. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 69 

D'Annunzio had drawn one of the great stories of the 
middle ages out of his magic inkpot, Zandonai, a thor- 
ough-going man of the theater, had given it a score that 
was frequently effective and sometimes struck through 
with the flash of sincerity. After a dozen years there is 
still a vivid recollection of the charm of the first act, the 
home of Francesca, and later on in the piece there was a 
love scene as fine and fiery and passionate as any love 
scene ever ought to be. The trouble was that there were 
other things. 

Ricordi's adaptation would seem to have consisted 
principally in cutting down the d'Annunzio play from 
about 4,000 lines to something like 1,200. He should 
have cut more, for he included a battle scene as the 
point of interest of the second act. 

Such a battle scene as it was ! Any battle scene is 
hard enough to stage with any degree of illusion, but this 
passed all bounds. Campanini, a better man of the theater 
than any of them, distrusted it in advance and begged to 
have the opera given with this scene omitted, but the 
Casa Ricordi was insistent, not to say hard-headed, and 
refused permission to make any cuts whatever. 

Here was a scene in which realism was to be worked 
out to the last detail and no faith given to the audience's 
faculty of imagination. Dead and wounded were all over 
the place, there were spears, swords, arrows, catapults, 
and melted lead poured from the battlements. And when 
a couple of arrows wafted themselves up to the blue sky, 
stuck there, and remained sticking until the end of the act, 
and when a few large catapult balls sailed over the wall 
and down upon the struggling throng, hitting chorus men 
on the head and bouncing gently to the stage without 



17O FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

appreciable damage to anybody or anything, the audi- 
ence shouted with glee. It completely ruined "Francesca 
da Rimini," though the work had too many fine things 
in it to deserve ruining. Two more performances were 
given to see if the audiences would keep on laughing. 
They did. 



CHAPTER XVI 

By all odds the most exciting incident of the 1917-18 
season belonged to Galli-Curci and Campanini, with some 
assistance from Dua and Rimini. It occurred on the first 
Friday night of the season, November 16, and had to do 
with what had every appearance of being an explosive 
bomb. 

"Dinorah" was getting its first performance as a 
Galli-Curci vehicle. She had made her first act appear- 
ance, had left the stage, and Dua and Rimini were in 
the midst of their dialogue duet following. Suddenly a 
stench filled the Auditorium, a hiss as of a shooting flame, 
an excited ejaculation or two, and before any one knew 
it the orchestra had suddenly struck into "The Star 
Spangled Banner," the audience was standing, and Galli- 
Curci had run back to the footlights and was leading the 
anthem with every high note in her ravishing throat. 
She did not know the words, but she did not need to. 

There really was a bomb, though it turned out to 
be a dud. What had happened was that some maniac 
had through hook or crook procured a seat near the 
tunnel entrance of the right hand center aisle, deposited 
his burden under the seat and then gone away. When 
it began to fizz and emit odors, a fireman with plenty 
of nerve, Battalion Chief M. J. Corrigan, later the 
Fire Marshal of Chicago, dashed in, stripped off his 
coat, wrapped the bomb in it, and ran out to the street, 

171 



172 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

dropping coat and bomb into the gutter. There it lay 
and sputtered until it went out. He lost a coat, but he 
averted a panic. In other words, he lived up to his job. 

It was war time, remember, and people's nerves were 
keyed up. There could easily have been a panic, even 
though, as it turned out, there was no danger from the 
bomb itself. A cry, a rush for the exits, and a calamity 
might have been precipitated. But the Chicago public that 
night treated itself to a display of great good sense and 
coolness. One member of the audience is reported to have 
leaped the orchestra rail and crouched down behind a 
violoncello, which would have been about as effective a 
protection as a mosquito netting had there been a real 
explosion. The others remained in their places, controlling 
themselves and each other with calm demeanor. After 
a moment or so, another fireman appeared on the stage 
before the footlights, assuring the audience that there 
was no danger, and the performance went on to the end. 
During one of the intermissions, the ushers passed out 
special editions of the two morning papers, each with a 
well-written column story of the event, and the patrons, 
reading within an hour what they had actually seen, 
laughed and congratulated each other that nothing seri- 
ous had happened. 

Campanini told a reporter about it the next day. 
"There ees nothing to tell, young man. Last night? Well, 
I heard a noise behind me and smelled a smell and I 
thought 'the devil.' I thought, 'Ah, it has come, the thing 
I have always waited for, the sound of panic' You know 
heem? An 'Ah,' held for five beats. For thirty-five years 
I have been a director, always with the musicians. But 
never have I heard this 'Ah' held for five beats coming 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 73 

from behind. And then the smell of smoke. 'It ees come,' 
I say to myself. 'Now I can do my bit. The orchestra mus' 
play the mos' grand and beautiful music, whatever ees 
come.' 

"This I know for thirty-five year. So, I command 
heem to play. And he play. Every one of them. With- 
out a mistake. In time. Excellent. He play 'The Star 
Spangled Banner' and I call to Galli-Curci, 'Sing, 
madame.' And she sing. In time. A whole octave high. 
Then the lights go up and I think maybe the people are 
flying away and terrible things are happening. But we 
play until I sneak a look in back of me, and, ah, the devil ! 
The people are standing close by their seats all safe, and 
I want to seeng myself. 

"Pardon, I have work. Goo' by." 

Another man with plenty of courage to be called 
upon just when it was needed. But it was more of a 
shock than Campanini himself or any one around him 
realized at the time. One can almost believe that his death 
dated from that moment. He was no longer young, he 
had lived intensely upon his nerves all his life, and his 
heart was not what it had been. He went on living and 
directing, it is true, but he missed several assignments at 
the baton during the next couple of weeks, and as the 
seasons went on he displayed less and less of the brisk 
vitality that had always marked him. In due time came 
the end. But in this time of crisis, he was distinctly there. 

The bomb was later picked up out of the gutter 
and carefully disemboweled by some powder and bomb 
experts and Chief of Police Schuettler and some of his 
assistants. It was a piece of gaspipe containing two ounces 
of smokeless powder, a load of buckshot, fifteen or 



174 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

twenty .22 caliber cartridges, and some sawdust and 
blotting paper. It must also have had a fuse and some 
odorous substance that burned in the Auditorium, but it 
was plainly a novice's job, and in all probability the 
powder, had it been touched off, would not have been 
powerful enough to crack the pipe. 

The person who made it and left it in the Audi- 
torium was in course of time picked up, but, being war 
time, his name was never made public. He was, how- 
ever, quietly put away on the war-time charge of having 
explosive material in his possession. They found enough 
to justify the charge in the place where he had been 
living, and that would seem to have been the end of 
him. 

Ever since that time something has happened in 
all operatic performances which very few people know 
about. A squad of quietly dressed operatives are on 
hand, distributed about to see that nothing of the sort 
happens again, and you and I and all of us are quite 
without our knowledge subjected to careful scrutiny 
before we take our seats. They are not necessarily 
looking for infernal machines all the time. Pickpockets 
and other anti-social persons have been known to get 
into operatic crowds with the idea of plying their trade. 

Turning back from this Friday night to Monday 
night, November 12, we discover that the season was 
opened with the first performance in America of Pietro 
Mascagni's "Isabeau." This was the cast. 

Isabeau Rosa Raisa 

Ermyngarde Myrna Sharlow 

Ermyntrude Jeska Swartz 

Giglietta Carolina Lazzari 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 75 

Folco Giulio Crimi 

Re Raimondo Giacomo Rimini 

Messer Cornelius Constantin Nicolay 

II Cavalier Faidet Alfred Maguenat 

L'Araldo Maggiore Desire Def rere 

Un Vegliardo Vittorio Trevisan 

Conductor Cleofonte Campanini 

"Isabeau" was a long ways from being Campanini's 
most accurate guess on what would be a popular opera, 
though it had the Lady Godiva legend as a story and a 
long history of litigation and bad language to give it a 
start. As far back as 1910 the firm of Liebler in New 
York, otherwise George Tyler, had conceived the idea 
that a Mascagni opera for the use of Bessie Abott would 
bear artistic and financial fruit. 

A contract was thereupon made with Mascagni, who 
summoned his librettist, Illica, and "Ysobel," so it was 
first termed, was decided upon. Illica journeyed to Cov- 
entry, England, to investigate the Godiva story, and 
Mascagni in Italy began to turn the story into sound. 

Months went on and the opera was not delivered. 
By 191 1 Mr. Tyler announced that he had already in- 
vested upwards of $100,000 in a work that he had not 
received, that he had discovered that when questionings 
were likely to prove embarrassing, Mascagni was in the 
habit of taking his unfinished manuscript under his arm 
and going off to the mountains leaving no address behind, 
and that this was likely to continue indefinitely. More- 
over, the composer decided that he did not care to come 
to America and conduct the piece, as he had promised. 

So lawyers wearing pleased expressions jumped in 
on both sides, Mme. Mascagni made some unkind, not to 



176 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

say acidulated remarks about Miss Abott's voice, Miss 
Abott made a tour of the United States in "Robin 
Hood" as a substitute opera, and "Ysobel" or "Isabeau" 
went to Buenos Aires for a performance. In course of 
time Campanini secured its rights for this country. 

Apparently he had a lively belief in it. At least he 
gave it a mounting that threw into the shade all the 
"ATdas" and "Giocondas" and other stage shows of past 
seasons, he rehearsed it thoroughly, and he performed 
it with processions and crowds, motley, glitter, color and 
light. All the bravery of a thoroughly festive occasion 
was there, and a sensational scene besides. 

As I have said, it was founded on the Lady Godiva 
story, and the press agent had whispered softly but 
industriously that the audience would have a chance to 
get the same view as fell to Peeping Tom of Coventry, 
but without his penalty of subsequent blindness. At the 
appointed time Miss Raisa threw aside her mantle and 
revealed herself in silk fleshings and a wig that covered 
her about as completely as the cloak itself, strode off 
the stage, and was seen again astride a horse as it 
plodded past the windows at the rear of the stage. In a 
subsequent season Anna Fitziu in the same part wore 
an even longer and thicker wig. 

All of which was enough to make the audience 
slightly self-conscious, but not enough to save the opera. 
For if the history of the Chicago Opera has taught any- 
thing, it is that the way to operatic salvation lies through 
good tunes and the other adjuncts of good music, and 
here was where "Isabeau" was markedly and distress- 
ingly missing. It had noise, it had stage knowledge, it 
had plenty of other assisting virtues, but Mascagni would 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 77 

seem to have practically exhausted his supply of tunes 
with his first work, "Cavalleria Rusticana." At least, he 
never came within recognizable distance of their fruiti- 
ness again. 

It frequently happens that when an operatic director 
is disappointed in the success of a new work, he falls 
back on the personalities of his company in works that 
are better known and approved. Campanini was lucky 
or far-seeing enough to have some personalities to fall 
back upon. He had Raisa as dramatic soprano, Galli- 
Curci as coloratura, Muratore as tenor, and he had im- 
ported Genevieve Vix from Paris to sing the Garden 
parts, while Garden stayed there. Likewise he had secured 
the promise of Marthe Chenal for what would seem to 
have been the same purpose, but she failed to keep her 
assignment. As it was, it looked like the right kind of 
a group upon which to place reliance, though it caused 
Campanini some trouble before the end of the season. 
But at the start everything looked fairly rosy. 

So on the second night of the season one reads of 
a tremendous triumph by Galli-Curci in "Lucia di Lam- 
mermoor." It was always a best seller when she sang it. 
She was just then beginning her second season as a first 
magnitude star, and her delight in her position and her 
affectionate gratitude to the public for putting her into it 
were apparent in every phrase she sang. Later it became 
an old story to her but just then she was in a condition 
of exuberance that carried her past technical flaws and 
everything else that stood in the way of her being a 
mechanically perfect singer. There was a quality in her 
voice that won the heart, and Galli-Curci was the most 
famous singer in America. 



178 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Another personality appeared at this time, Georges 
Baklanoff, who had walked out of the Boston Opera 
Company after a row with Henry Russell and then 
had won the injunction proceedings by which Russell 
tried to restrain him from singing elsewhere. He made 
his first appearance with the Chicago company in 
"Faust," and it was a notable cast, Baklanoff as the un- 
clean, ophidian specter of a Mephistopheles, indifferent 
as might be to the low notes of the score but an unfor- 
gettable picture; Muratore, the Faust to challenge the 
memory of Jean de Reszke; and Melba, again a guest 
artist, as Marguerite, arriving after a series of accidents 
that would have sent a younger soprano to a sanitarium 
for the rest of the season. 

She had, it appeared, been with the company on 
its autumn tour about the country. Down in Fort Worth, 
Texas, she had got in the way of some falling scenery, 
been completely knocked out and badly bruised, later she 
had been in an automobile collision, and on the way to 
Chicago the rear car of the train in which she was riding 
had detached itself and come to rest out in the middle of 
the prairies, leaving its passengers in the none too com- 
fortable position of not knowing whether they would be 
knocked fore or aft in case another train should happen 
to come along. Such were the joys of travel during a 
war administration. But the only effect these various 
items had on Melba was to make her sing a little more 
faultlessly than before. 

Anna Fitziu, having changed her name of Fitzhugh 
in Italy so that the Italians could pronounce it, made her 
debut as Tosca on November 19, and thereby headed the 
procession of sopranos who have since moved from 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 79 

musical comedy to grand opera. Baklanoff appeared as 
Scarpia for the first time in Chicago, and from that time 
all Scarpias were measured by the degree that they fell 
short of his impersonation. It was one of the best things 
in all the Chicago opera. A few days later Riccardo 
Stracciari appeared to sing the name part of "Rigoletto," 
and thereby managed to balance the cast, for the Gilda 
was Galli-Curci. Finally came Vix, with Manon as her 
first vehicle, and a publicity sideline consisting of a Russian 
prince in the offing whom she was supposedly going to 
marry. 

Without quite becoming a sensation then or ever, 
she made good, singing in the small, edgy, expressive voice 
which had become the Parisian fashion, acting adroitly 
and cleverly, in all respects becoming a first rate foil to 
Muratore, who was immense as the young des Grieux. 
Later she appeared as Jean in "Le Jongleur de Notre 
Dame" and the name part of "Louise," but in these she 
was up against the memory of too strong competition, 
for, as Frank Tinney used to say, Miss Garden had 
fixed those parts so that no one else could ever do them. 
But about that time Miss Raisa made her first appearance 
as Maliella in "The Jewels of the Madonna," and the 
opera-going public lifted up its voice and rejoiced. Then 
and therafter she became the first Maliella of the world. 

About this time there was another effort toward 
American opera, a world premiere at that. It deserves 
a new chapter. 



CHAPTER XVII 
AZORA 

(Daughter of Montezuma) 

Romantic opera in three acts ; text by David 
Stevens ; music by Henry Hadley. World premiere 
at the Auditorium, Dec. 26, 191 7. 

The Cast 

Azora Anna Fitziu 

Papantzin Cyrena Van Gordon 

Xalca Forrest Lamont 

Ramatzin Arthur Middleton 

Canek Frank Preisch 

Montezuma James Goddard 

Piqui-Chaqui B. Mann 

Cortez George Wilkins 

A Slave Girl Clara Shaw 

Incidental Dances by Annetta Pelucchi and Corps 

de Ballet 
Conductor-composer Henry Hadley 

As may be inferred here and there in these pages, 
if American opera never arrived at the dignity of found- 
ing its own new school, it was not the fault of Cam- 
panini. He gave it every possible chance, and never a 
better one than in the Stevens-Hadley opus. Here was a 
sort of junior American "Ai'da," with a call for lavish 
staging, processionals, ballets, colorful costuming, big 

180 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 151 

musical numbers. Campanini gave it a cast of Americans, 
most of whom knew the complete art of singing, and 
decreed that all the resources of the organization should 
be turned loose on its mounting. Also, when Mr. Hadley 
used to conduct his own music, he carried it along with 
irresistible swing and spirit, and he had put some mighty 
good music into this score. 

Yet "Azora" was not a success. It would be easy 
to revive some of the post-mortems of the period, to tell 
how the libretto was no good, or if the piece had been 
put on in another manner it would have got across. Once, 
some years later, these ears heard a statement in a speech 
that the opera had been given "a disgraceful cast," which 
registers the highest so far among the unintentionally 
comic remarks evolved by those who think they are doing 
a good turn to opera in English. 

In fact the apologists made a high score of wrong 
reasons. The true one came out in Campanini's private 
office, and never got into the newspapers. 

"Azora" had its premiere, with a crowded house, 
hectic applause, encores, curtain calls, silver wreaths, and 
all the ceremonials of a first performance. It was given 
again about a week later. Then Hadley called upon Cam- 
panini, saying that he wished to discuss the question of 
putting on "Azora" in the forthcoming New York sea- 
son. Campanini was unenthusiastic, not to say cold. He 
answered that he did not believe that there was enough 
public interest in the piece to justify him in going to the 
expense of moving it to New York. 

Greatly surprised, Hadley argued that in two per- 
formances there had been two full houses. Campanini 
admitted the full houses, but stated that there were times 



1 82 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

when the Chicago Opera Association unfortunately found 
it advisable to issue passes in order to fill up large gaps 
in the theater seats. "How many people do you think 
bought main floor seats for your second performance?" 
he wanted to know. 

Hadley opined that there might have been five hun- 
dred. "Too many, much too many," said Campanini. 
"Try again." This time the figure was put at possibly 
three hundred, and again Campanini shook his head. 
Hadley kept revising his estimate downward and Cam- 
panini's smile kept growing more sardonic. Finally he 
sent for the box office statement, which had the official 
figures. 

Outside of the regular season subscribers for this 
night, exactly five persons had bought seats on the main 
floor. 

No more pointed or merciless comment was ever 
made upon the cause of American opera. Then and now 
there has always been an infinite amount of conversation 
on the subject. Shrieks of neglected composers pierce the 
ear drums; lavish lectures are spoken and articles written 
holding that artistic and patriotic considerations demand 
support of the native article. But when it comes to pay- 
ing out money for tickets to support the native article, 
there is a sudden shift of activity. 

As it turned out, a campaign was started by some 
of Mr. Hadley's friends in New York, and enough 
tickets were subscribed so that Campanini after all in- 
cluded "Azora" in the New York season. But since then 
it has been in that graveyard of frustrated hopes, the 
warehouse. Too bad, for it deserved a better fate. Plenty 
of worse music has got by, and there is no need of discuss- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 83 

ing the dramatic values of the libretto, for the dramatic 
absurdities of some successful operas are beyond telling. 
But the exotic flower of grand opera has its own special 
problems in America, and one of these is general apathy. 

Another American opera had a tryout shortly after 
the new year. Arthur Nevin, at that time in charge of the 
army music at Camp Grant, came up in khaki uniform and 
conducted his "A Daughter of the Forest," a one-act 
piece sung by Frances Peralta, Mr. Lamont, and Mr. 
Goddard to a libretto by Randolph Hartley. Here the 
story dealt not with American Indians but with the 
American Civil War, but in spite of that, "A Daughter 
of the Forest" was not the opening number in an Ameri- 
can school of operatic composition. 

"Isabeau," too, went into the silence; Galli-Curci 
and Muratore sang "Lakme," an unwise choice on his 
part, since the music lay uncomfortably high for his voice; 
Miss Garden came back from Paris for the final three 
weeks in Chicago, to do "Carmen," "Monna Vanna," 
"Pelleas et Melisande," and some of the others in her 
list. 

About this time there was a bit of trouble from an 
unexpected source. Galli-Curci was so much the popular 
idol of Chicago that throughout this season she was not 
far from being the operatic life-saver. But Campanini, 
realizing her box office value, billed her over and over 
again until she was fairly worn out. With her weariness 
she grew panicky over the coming New York season. 
"If I go there and cannot sing well," she explained, 
"all the critics will say, 'Dio mio, what a nose!' and there 
will be nothing else to say." Finally she announced that 
she would not go at all. 



1 84 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Ring Lardner had been moved at one time and 
another to make joyous and puckish comment on operatic 
doings, as witness what he gravely stated to be the trans- 
lation of the sentence pronounced upon Isabeau: 

He speaks in an awed way: 

"This noon, right down Broadway, 
With none of your clo'es on, 

No shoes and no hose on, 
And us looking at you, 

You stubborn young brat, you 
Shall ride on a palfrey. 

The show shall be all free." 

Whereupon when the Galli-Curci strike made the 
front pages, he wrote: 

"They's been only the I big story and that was the 
brawl between Campanini, the orchestra leader over to 
the Auditorium, and Amelia Galli-Curci, that sings the 
air. 

"It seems like Cleo had dated her up to sing some 
songs in Boston and N. Y. when she got through here and 
all of a sudden she says she was too tired. So he says: 

" 'But my Galli ! You promised !' 

" 'But I tell you I'm tired out,' 

"she says. So he says: 



'A few more shows won't hurci, 
Amelia Galli-Curci.' 



"And she says, 



" 'You tell that stuff to Swini, 
Conductor Campanini.' 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 85 

"And that give her the last word, but she wasn't 
satisfied. So she began telling how little she got for 
singing." 

He would seem to have told the essential if not the 
literal truth, but like other tempests, this one blew over 
with the assistance of a few mutual concessions. Cam- 
panini gave her a two weeks' layoff with instructions to 
do nothing but rest, she agreed to come to New York, 
and the matter of salary was dropped by both. 

In the meantime Vix appeared in the name part of 
Massenet's "Sapho," a depressing event then, and scarcely 
better when Miss Garden revived it a decade later. An- 
other new opera was put on at almost the final perform- 
ance of the season, "Le Sauteriot," by Silvio Lazzari, 
which, also, for excellent reasons, was not played in sub- 
sequent seasons. Finally the company packed up and went 
to the Lexington theater in New York, built by Oscar 
Hammerstein but never used by him for opera. 

The season opened with "Monna Vanna," with Gar- 
den, Muratore, and Baklanoff, with a record of thirty 
curtain calls. After her rest, Galli-Curci rejoined the com- 
pany and made an equal hit. Garden appeared in most of 
her repertoire, Melba sang a performance or two, 
"Isabeau" and "Azora" and "The Jewels of the 
Madonna" were presented, and the New York critics 
were unwontedly and unexpectedly kind to the Chicago 
singers. In fact the musical critic of one of the Boston 
papers was moved to wrath about New York's "dis- 
covery" of Galli-Curci when by this time she was pretty 
well known all over the country, speaking scornfully about 
the way New Yorkers were "capering about the parish 
pump." 



1 86 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Three weeks was the stay in New York. Then came 
two weeks in Boston, where the critics were also kind, but 
not so unexpectedly. The tour was no financial triumph, 
and Campanini had no expectation of making it so, but 
it was an artistic one. 

So ended another season. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

Probably the most important item in the 19 18-19 
season was the first appearance with the company of 
Giorgio Polacco, later destined to become musical director 
of the present Civic Opera. At that time, however, his 
official title was merely conductor, and his engagement 
for a season only. 

Campanini's health had begun to worry him. He had 
been warned by his physicians that the task of rehearsing 
and conducting operas according to his custom in the past 
was putting too much of a strain on his heart, and that 
while he could be permitted to make occasional appear- 
ances in the pit, he must no longer consider it as a steady 
thing. 

He therefore sent for Mr. Polacco in New York 
one day and had a long discussion with him, pointing out 
the condition of his health, the fact that he was obliged 
to relinquish part of his labors, the further fact that an- 
other conductor, Gino Marinuzzi, had already been en- 
gaged for the following, the 1919-20, season, but that 
principally during the season under discussion, a place 
existed in Chicago for the talents, industry, and dis- 
ciplinary methods of Polacco. 

For Polacco, a kindly, gentle and sympathetic soul 
when away from the stand, was noted far and wide for 
his flaming light as a conductor and his complete lack of 
patience with all singers who flagged in their efforts on 

187 



1 88 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the stage. Like other members of the operatic profession, 
he for years had wandered up and down the face of the 
earth. A native of Venice, his first opportunity to conduct 
had come when he was only eighteen years old. He had 
gone to London to play in an operatic orchestra directed 
by Luigi Arditi, having charge of such bits as the bells 
and the organ in "Cavalleria Rusticana" and similar mat- 
ters. One day there was a call to conduct one of the Gluck 
operas, and Polacco, who had learned the work thor- 
oughly in his conservatory studies, responded. From that 
day on he would seem to have been marked as a man of the 
baton. 

His career carried him into nearly every major opera 
house on three continents. He was the first to conduct 
"Louise" after its world premiere in Paris — he conducted 
it in Rome — the first to introduce "Boris Godunoff" to 
South America. In London, Barcelona, and several other 
theaters he was the immediate successor of Arturo Tos- 
canini. He was in San Francisco when Tetrazzini sang 
there, her first appearance in the United States, and he 
had been associated with Toscanini at the New York 
Metropolitan, remaining there for five or six years after 
the departure of that extraordinary genius. 

For the moment he was at a loose end, but it did 
not take him long to make up his mind. At the end of 
their conversation he and Campanini shook hands in 
agreement, and he was a member of the Chicago Opera. 
He has been heard to say that he was too precipitate that 
night, for no later than the next day an offer came for 
him to take the baton of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 
a post then vacant following the departure to Germany 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 89 

of Dr. Karl Muck at the urgent invitation of the United 
States government. 

Mr. Polacco says that Campanini derided him joy- 
ously for so much as thinking of taking the Boston posi- 
tion. He himself thought of it as a place of ideal peace 
among the great works of music, but Campanini assured 
him that he would be bored to death in less than a week, 
and that his place in the world was down in the orchestra 
pit to strike terror to the souls of lazy operatic singers. 
This was the undoubted truth, for Polacco was ever a 
man of the theater. 

So he came to Chicago, and if any of the artists 
thought that conditions were going to be relaxed because 
Campanini's hand was less firmly on the tiller, they were 
speedily disillusioned. For Polacco knew his job. He was 
a sincere and cultured musician with high ideals of per- 
formance, he went to the theater with every detail worked 
out in his mind, and he had a ready, not to say pointed 
manner when things went wrong of calling the attention 
of the offenders. 

Usually one reproof was enough. I shall never forget 
the amazed look on the face of Rosa Raisa one night in 
a "Tosca" performance. For just a moment during the 
"Vissi d'Arte" aria her attention had lapsed in the matter 
of holding a long note. Polacco sustained the chord in the 
orchestra as long as he dared, until the violin bows were 
drawn out to their uttermost tips. Then he and the or- 
chestra moved on, leaving Raisa in a manner of speaking 
between sky and earth and with little knowledge of how 
to get back. 

It was an unexpectedly comic performance any way, 
for Raisa herself had a score to pay off that night, and 



19O FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

she paid it. The Mario of the performance was Ales- 
sandro Dolci, a tenor of superb voice, but a man whose 
habits on the stage made him intensely disliked by his 
associates. Raisa had suffered with him until, as far as she 
was concerned, patience was no longer a virtue. Her 
chance came in the final scene. 

Then, as you will remember, Mario has been shot by 
the firing squad and lies stretched out on the terrace. 
Tosca with a cry of despair flings herself across his body, 
but Raisa managed to fling herself in such a way that two 
vigorous elbows bored into what can be best described 
as his equatorial line. With a grunt that could have been 
heard out in the lobby, Dolci's feet went up in the air 
and he deflated like a burst football. Even that was not 
enough for Raisa, for in getting up to run over to the 
parapet before jumping over it, she, quite by accident, of 
course, stepped on his palm with the sharp heel of her 
shoe. The audience burst into a shout of laughter, and 
Polacco nearly had a fit because his line of vision was cut 
off by the top of the stage and he could not see what was 
happening further back. In some opera performances a 
great deal goes on that never gets into the official reports. 

But Polacco had begun developing his Chicago 
reputation long before this. He conducted the first per- 
formance of the season, "La Traviata," with Galli-Curci, 
Guido Ciccolini (debut) and Riccardo Stracciari, and also 
the second night, "Madame Butterfly," with Tamaki 
Miura, Irene Pavloska, Forrest Lamont, and Auguste 
Bouilliez (debut), and was talked about quite as much as 
any of the singers. 

The first night was far more of a gala night than 
most of the performances officially so labeled. The war 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 191 

had come to its end a week before, and it was quite fitting 
that the Chicago Opera should make formal comment. 
So during the intermission after the first act a procession 
of conductors marched into the pit, Campanini leading, 
and followed by Marcel Charlier, Polacco, Louis Hassel- 
mans, another newcomer of that year, and Giuseppe 
Sturani. The curtains were drawn, discovering the chorus 
in a massed group. 

Then entered Mr. Bouilliez dressed as a Belgian 
soldier, carrying the Belgian flag, to sing La Brabanconne, 
Charlier conducting. Polacco took the stick and Stracciari 
sang the Garibaldi hymn. Muratore in his Rouget de Lisle 
clothes sang the Marseillaise to Hasselmans' conducting, 
and Polacco took the stick again when little Miura 
toddled out in kimono for the hymn of her faraway 
Japan, a song which it is safe to say that no one but she 
was up on, either words or music. Cyrena Van Gordon, 
looking like every war poster of Britannia ever drawn, 
followed with "God Save the King." Finally Galli-Curci, 
escorted by the ballet, appeared on the stage, Campanini 
mounted the stand, and every one let go all the combined 
enthusiasm in "The Star Spangled Banner." 

During the rest of the evening Polacco wrought 
with the faded "Traviata" score in a way almost to con- 
vince some of the unbelievers that there was some vital 
music in it after all. Of course Galli-Curci was a delight, 
and she had a good cast around her. The next night 
Polacco did even more with "Madame Butterfly," because 
there he had some newer and juicier music with which to 
deal. Miura, the little mite of a Japanese who used to 
appear as "Madam Butterfry," as she called it, gave 
naturally the most complete physical illusion of any one 



192 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

who ever did the part. Curiously, however, the picture, 
expert as it was, played havoc with the spiritual qualities 
of the part. Miura always delighted the eye, but seldom 
wrung the heart. 

"Isabeau" was put on again, Anna Fitziu and For- 
rest Lamont taking the leading parts, Raisa started them 
talking again about her Aida, and some strangers began 
to make debuts. Yvonne Gall, from Paris, was one of 
these. She started as Thais, a performance made possible 
because Miss Garden had shortly before parted with her 
appendix in France and was unable to be in Chicago in 
time for the opening. 

Seeing Miss Gall's Thais again at Ravinia in the 
summer of 1928, one learned that in ten years she had 
changed her mind about the proper costume for a semi- 
tropical vamp. In her 1918 version, every one was con- 
vinced that she wore Jaeger flannels for the part, and 
the further the piece advanced the higher grew her neck- 
line. A few nights later she appeared as Juliet, upsetting 
the customary Galli-Curci-Muratore combination, and 
made a notable hit. Her voice was and is a thing of 
beauty, and then she excelled in the classical roles. Galli- 
Curci, on her part, went on as Mimi in "La Boheme" with 
John McCormack, who returned to make one of his in- 
frequent operatic appearances — he had promised one a 
year before and had been snowed in before he could get 
to Chicago — and proved what some of us had been be- 
lieving, that while the high notes and the flute obbligatos 
of coloratura singing were what were making her popular 
and prosperous, she could, had she chosen, made of her- 
self a notable lyric soprano. 

John O'Sullivan was another newcomer. In spite of 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 93 

his name, which truly indicated his birthplace, he classified 
as a French singer, for he had lived in France for years, 
chattered the language like a native, and sang only French 
parts. He was introduced in "William Tell," why, no 
one was ever able to say, except that no one else could 
sing the tenor part and O'Sullivan could. It is a vile part 
for most singers, abounding in B's, B flats, and C's almost 
without number, and O'Sullivan, after he conquered his 
first nervousness trumpeted them out so easily as to make 
a personal hit of his own. It was a tiresome opera how- 
ever, no better than when the Century Opera Company 
had given it, and it soon retired into the discard. 

Does any one remember the pigeon story of that 
season? Marcel Journet was singing bass parts with the 
company at that time, and doing rather well by them, 
but he got the most publicity over something he would 
rather have had passed by in silence. One day he reported 
to his hotel that the drain pipe leading from his bathroom 
was stopped up. A plumber investigated, and reported in 
his turn that the pipe had been stuffed full of feathers. 
A low-minded and suspicious reporter straightway 
evolved, and what is worse, printed his theory that Jour- 
net had been snaring pigeons on his window sill, killing 
them and cooking them in his room. It was a front page 
story, and merrily, not to say maliciously, spun. 

You have perhaps been present when an indignantly 
voluble singer was voicing a series of protests. Journet 
was one of the most indignant and most voluble in my 
experience, though I had not written the story. His ex- 
planation to me, if I remember its main thread, was to 
the effect that he had made much money in his life, was 
feeling quite at ease in financial matters, and was fully 



194 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

able, if he desired to eat pigeons, to go out and buy them. 

Polacco was greatly desirous of extending his 
operatic achievements, with Raisa, in spite of her "Tosca" 
misadventure, as the leading soprano. He was par- 
ticularly anxious to put on the early Italian "Norma" and 
the late Italian "Loreley," and started her and other 
singers on their rehearsals. But midway in the season 
Raisa in her turn was forced to go to the hospital and 
get a divorce from her own appendix. "Norma," there- 
fore had to be canceled, but Miss Fitziu learned the 
"Loreley" part at short notice and sang it twice. In a 
later season Claudia Muzio also sang it, but it is hard to 
believe that the opera will ever be a permanent feature 
in the repertoire. 

Miss Garden finally got back from France and 
hastened to appear in the first performance on any stage 
of Henri Fevrier's "Gismonda," a setting of the elderly 
Sardou play of the same name, composed about ten years 
after the "Monna Vanna" setting. Critical effort the next 
day showed a marked straining to make the piece a suc- 
cess, but it could not be done. There was eyefilling 
scenery, there was Miss Garden, both eyefilling and stage- 
wise, Campanini conducted with all his craft, the com- 
poser was present, in his box all the time the performance 
was going on, and before the curtain most of the time 
when it was not, there were wreaths and handshakes and 
kisses and all the customary ritual of a first performance. 
But after the first performance the public would have 
little of it. 

Another first performance — at least for America — 
fell to the lot of Conductor Hasselmans, and was not 
given until the final Saturday afternoon of the season. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 95 

It was "Le Chemineau," by Xavier Leroux, the setting 
of a play by Jean Richepin which in a translated version 
called "The Harvester" used to be acted by Otis Skinner 
some twenty years ago in America and as "Ragged 
Robin" by Sir Herbert Tree in London. 

"Le Chemineau" has always been a source of great 
annoyance to the Chicago Opera management and to Mr. 
Eckstein in Ravinia. In spite of the box office statements, 
they know that it is a piece of high and fine art, but the box 
office statement is generally unfavorable. Every once in 
awhile their optimism is too much for their fears. They 
take it out, dust it off, and hope for the best. Then they 
learn that the public stays away in large numbers, and they 
put it back again. But as it used to be sung and acted by 
Miss Gall, Mr. Maguenat, and Mr. Baklanoff, it was 
one of the most affecting pieces of the repertoire, a poign- 
ant tragedy of poor peasants whose feelings were just 
as near the surface as though they had been better 
dressed. 

There was another "Loreley," another "Gismonda," 
a "Carmen" with Miss Garden, a "Cleopatra," also 
with her — she seemed determined that year not to do the 
things in which she was most fondly remembered — a 
"Faust" with O'Sullivan and Gall, various other odds and 
ends, and the company went on tour again, another visit 
to New York, then doubling back by degrees to Pitts- 
burgh and to Detroit, its first visit there. A few weeks 
before departure Campanini put on "Crispino e la 
Comare," and Galli-Curci and Trevisan made a delectable 
entertainment of it. For some unknown reason it has not 
been done much in this country. It is an elderly piece with 
no tune in it that you would ever care to remember, but 



I96 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

audiences loved it the few times they had the chance to 
hear it. 

Here and there on this visit to New York one begins 
to notice a change in the critical attitude. There had been 
lavish praise the season before; even now they liked the 
novelties which the Metropolitan Company had not given 
them; but occasionally a warning finger was being lifted. 
In later seasons the finger was to become converted to a 
clenched fist. Just now they were contented with begin- 
ning to point out that the Metropolitan had a cerain 
"dignity" which was lacking in the Chicago organization, 
and that the Chicago performances were conventional 
"except in a few spots." Just what this last means any 
one is at liberty to figure out at leisure. In any event it no 
doubt relieved the soul of the writer. 



CHAPTER XIX 

The 1919-20 season was a sad one for the Chicago 
Opera. Right in the midst of it, in all the turmoil and 
confusion and incessant rehearsals and performances of 
an operatic season, Campanini died. 

He had come back to Chicago in the fall, a little 
frailer than before, complaining of a hard cold that he 
had taken on the way, not up to the physical strain of a 
few years ago, but still at his desk during the day and 
in his box for a few of the first performances of the 
season. Then one night he was missing from his accus- 
tomed place, and it was told that he preferred to stay in 
his room and rest. It should have been enough to warn 
the world that all was very far from being well, for 
nothing less than complete physical disability would have 
kept him out of the opera house when a performance was 
going on. 

Never a night during all his years of service that he 
and Mme. Campanini were not at the theater, she always 
in her box, he on the stand if he was conducting or with 
her if he was not, vanishing out to dash behind the scenes 
three or four times in the course of the performance with 
a suggestion about a detail of costume, a pose, a stage 
picture, what not. They say that he used to make a per- 
sonal inspection of all costumes before every new per- 
formance whether he was the conductor or not; he had 
been known to call for a pair of scissors five minutes be- 

197 



198 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

fore the rise of the curtain and trim down a set of stage 
whiskers to suit his ideas of what was scenically fitting. 

Mme. Campanini was as wise and as interested in 
stage affairs as he. As Eva Tetrazzini, sister of the more 
famous coloratura, Luisa, she had been well known in 
operatic performances of her time, leaving the stage per- 
manently, however, when she married him. For the rest 
of his career her operatic endeavors were vicarious, work- 
ing through the efforts of others, but she knew the stage 
thoroughly and he always respected her advice. 

So when neither appeared at the Auditorium, it 
should have been a sign that matters were seriously 
wrong. A few days later he was moved out of his rooms 
at the Congress Hotel to St. Luke's Hospital, and on 
the morning of December 19, 19 19, he, the real Cleofonte 
Campanini, moved away from the hospital and the world 
for good. 

The physician's bulletin said that it was weak heart 
and pneumonia. It was really forty years' hard work in 
the theater. For him there was perhaps only one sorrow- 
ful feature about it. He died in a Chicago winter when 
he had always wanted to live in the Italian sunshine. 

For Campanini's Latin temperament manifested it- 
self both in a love of art and a love of light and gayety. 
A joke was dear to his heart, and if it happened to be a 
practical joke, so much the better. He used to tell with 
tears of laughter running down his cheeks of the trick he 
once played on his friendly enemy, Gatti-Casazza, the 
general director of the Metropolitan Opera Company. 

It happened that during the second year of the war, 
Campanini, as a non-combatant, was permitted to unravel 
the miles of red tape necessary in such cases and penetrate 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 1 99 

behind the German lines in search of undiscovered 
operatic talent. Armed with all official credentials, he 
went into Switzerland, and crossed Lake Constance by 
steamer to the German side. Somewhere on the trip he 
met Gatti-Casazza, who had been doing some unraveling 
on his own behalf, and was on a similar errand. 

Arrived upon German soil, the passengers were 
herded into an intelligence bureau, where the officer in 
charge took them, two by two, into a booth to be un- 
dressed and searched. Campanini and Gatti-Casazza went 
together, and Campanini's ordeal was brief. In a mo- 
ment, he said, he was climbing back into his clothes and 
laughing at the spectacle of his fellow impresario, shiver- 
ing without them. 

"The officer was a dull fellow," he said. "I went 
close to him and whispered. 'And what about information 
written in invisible ink on the skin?' And what does the 
German do with my friend Gatti but send for a nice green 
lemon and rub him until he looked like a magnificent, 
ripe tomato." 

There is no report that Gatti ever hated him for 
the trick or for the story. No one ever hated him, even 
in the midst of the fiercest battles that he used to wage. 
His singers worshiped him at all times. They remembered 
his sharp discipline as director, but they also remembered 
his many acts of kindly, warm-hearted generosity when 
rehearsals and performances were over. 

His funeral was like his life, of the theater. His 
coffin, escorted by the directorate of the Opera Company, 
was moved to the Auditorium stage, where on Sunday 
afternoon, December 21, a musical service was held to 
his memory. 



200 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

At three o'clock the curtains were noiselessly drawn. 
There in the center of the stage, heaped high with flowers, 
with the brilliantly illuminated Transformation Scene of 
"Parsifal" above and about it, lay the casket containing 
the body of Cleofonte Campanini. At either end was a 
burning wax candle. His baton and one of his opera scores 
rested on his conductor's stand. The house was thronged. 

The orchestra, concealed from view behind the 
stage, broke the silence with the Prelude to Saint-Saens' 
"The Deluge," with Charlier conducting. Alessandro 
Bond's voice floated out in the "Ingemisco" from Verdi's 
Requiem Mass, De Angelis conducting. Hasselmans 
added a prelude by Faure, then the new conductor of the 
season, Gino Marinuzzi, took charge, and Rosa Raisa's 
voice rang out in the "Inflammatus" from Rossini's 
"Stabat Mater." 

This number was peculiarly appropriate and 
peculiarly touching, for almost exactly a year before Cam- 
panini himself had conducted the "Stabat Mater" one 
Sunday night at a concert in the Auditorium, and Miss 
Raisa had been fairly ablaze as she sang the excerpt. At 
its end, and while the audience was doing its collective best 
to raise the roof with applause, Campanini stepped off the 
stand, kissed Raisa on both cheeks, then stepped back 
and repeated the number. 

The last movement from Tschaikowsky's "Pathe- 
tique" Symphony, and the musical service was over, but 
for three hours thereafter Chicagoans filed past the 
coffin of the departed maestro. Funeral services next day 
at Holy Name Cathedral were conducted by Very 
Reverend John Cavanaugh, former president of the Uni- 
versity of Notre Dame. The body was placed in a vault 




Photo by Moffett 
VlTTORIO TREVISAN AS AND IN "DON PASQUALE" 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 201 

at Calvary cemetery until the next spring, when it was 
carried back to Campanini's home in Parma, Italy. 

There it is now, and there, too, is an ornately sculp- 
tured stone memorial to his honor, for which, though she 
declines to talk about it, Miss Raisa is largely respon- 
sible. For among the other deeds in his busy life, Cam- 
panini discovered Raisa when she was very young and 
very poor, driven out from Poland into Italy. Having 
found her, he and Mme. Campanini gave her advice, in- 
struction, material aid, and the encouragement to take 
the place in opera which she afterwards occupied. And 
Raisa is not the person to forget. 

So passed a brave and fascinating figure from the 
world of opera. 



CHAPTER XX 

The first rule of the theater is that the show must 
go on. Campanini had planned and outlined a heavy sea- 
son, with more effort and disregard of expense than ever 
before in the attempt to find another "Jewels of the 
Madonna," or some novelty of the sort which could be- 
come a permanent item in the repertoire. During his dis- 
ability and after his death, his lieutenants carried on ac- 
cording to his plans. Before the season was over, there 
began to be a certain amount of comment that the 
master's hand was missing, but that sort of comment, 
sometimes justified, sometimes not, is inevitable. The ex- 
cuse was the greater this time, because several of the 
experiments turned out unsuccessfully. 

The first was "La Nave," a dramatic poem by 
Gabriele d'Annunzio, cut down into libretto length by 
Tito Ricordi, and set to music by Italo Montemezzi. It 
opened the season on November 18, 1919, and Monte- 
mezzi himself came on to conduct the performance. The 
cast: 

Marco Gratico Alessandro Dolci 

Sergio Gratico Giacomo Rimini 

Orso Faledro Vittorio Arimondi 

Basiliola Rosa Raisa 

II Maestro dellAcque Orio 

Dodo William Rogerson 

Una Voce Emma Noe 

II Piloto Lucio Polo Constantin Nicolay 

202 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 203 

II Tagliapietra Gauro Arthur Boardman 

II Mulinaro Benno Lodovico Oliviero 

II Timoxiere Simon 

d'Armario Vittorio Trevisan, 

and ten or twelve more who do not matter at this time. 

Here was another case of trying to pick personal 
successes out of an opera which was not in the least a 
success itself. For "La Nave" was not another "L'Amore 
dei Tre Re." It was another allegory, this time based on an 
episode in the history of early Venice. Hope springs eternal 
in the general operatic breast that allegory is the true 
answer for an operatic libretto, just as strongly as in the 
American operatic breast that Indian themes are the true 
answer for an American opera. The chances are strongly 
against both. "L'Amore dei Tre Re" succeeded for two 
reasons, one, that the plot is so poignant that its sym- 
bolism is forgotten, the other, that its music was com- 
posed in white hot passion. 

"La Nave" failed in both cases. The allegory went 
to the place where all dead plays go when they become 
opera librettos, and the music dawdled in the composer's 
brain where it should have run like swift blood. An 
enormously massive — and heavy — equipment of scenery 
had been designed by the American husband-and-wife firm 
of Norman-Bel Geddes, and if you wanted to hear an 
eloquent not to say pointed opinion of how operatic 
scenery should not be made, you should have talked to 
the back-stage force about that time. 

From the front, it merely looked heavy and not 
much more. One still remembers a special ineptitude 
about it. In a prologue and three acts, four scenes in all, 
no one was ever able to make an entrance from the rear 



204 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

center, all being forced to dodge around pillars, altars, 
what not. Another case was where Miss Raisa was called 
upon in the dramatic action to draw a bow and arrows 
and shoot down some prisoners confined in a pit. The pit 
was so built that Miss Raisa had to shoot left-handed, 
holding her bow about on a level with her eyebrows, with 
the result that the arrows would hardly have disturbed a 
Venetian mosquito, much less a Venetian prisoner. 

Miss Raisa, with a voice in her soul and a soul in her 
voice, as one of the critics remarked at the time, took the 
greater share of the applause by putting more heat into 
the performance than Montemezzi had put into the score. 
But single handed the task was too much for even her 
great ability, and "La Nave" soon passed into the for- 
gotten. I am told that the stage force raised a special 
and quite non-operatic chorus of joy on its own behalf 
when it was ordered to break up the scenery. 

Miss Garden made another effort to galvanize the 
moribund "Cleopatra" into something resembling life; 
Miura was still doing "Madame Butterfly," Bonci, most 
expert and best known of lyric tenors — Tito Schipa was 
just about to begin his American career — was on to sing 
in "A Masked Ball" and incidentally to do certain things 
in it that no one has ever equaled. Then some new singers 
began to attract attention. Carlo Galeffi was one. Edward 
Johnson was another. Mr. Schipa was a third. 

Before the season opened, Campanini told me that 
Galeffi was "a young Titta Ruffo," and he came near 
being just that, though without the preliminary blare of 
publicity that helped to make Ruffo the sensation that he 
had been. He started in "A Masked Ball" and "Rigo- 
letto," time-honored baritonal tests, disclosing a glorious 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 205 

voice and marked stage sense, and when the Puccini 
"Trittico" was finally made public, a striking ability for 
works a bit outside of the operatic conventions. 

His American career was brief, due principally, it 
was said, to his undue belief in his own monetary value. 
Perhaps Campanini, had he lived, could have browbeaten 
him into accepting a fee somewhere near his true value, 
for Campanini had a good deal of talent in that direction. 
In that case Galeffi would probably have become a lead- 
ing figure in America. 

Mr. Johnson had paused temporarily in operetta on 
the way to his operatic prominence. As far back as 1907 
it was discovered that he, already well known in concert 
and oratorio, was the only singer in America capable of 
putting through the tenor music in Oscar Strauss' "The 
Waltz Dream." So he went into the piece and made so 
good that he would have been in position to name his 
own pay for future commitments in operetta. 

Instead, he quit the piece at the end of its New 
York run, took his earnings to Italy and invested them 
in operatic study, with the result that he became a celebrity 
there. He originated the tenor roles in both "L'Amore 
dei Tre Re" — he is still the best Avito in the world — 
and "La Nave," and out of thirty performances of "Die 
Meistersinger" at La Scala, "I Maestri Cantori," as they 
call it there, he sang the part of Walther twenty-seven 
times. From his first appearance in Chicago, Loris in 
"Fedora," he was one of the company's most admirable 
artists, and the Chicago Opera never suffered a greater 
loss than when, on its next reorganization, through no 
fault of his or the company's, he was taken by the Metro- 
politan in New York. 



206 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Mr. Schipa was unknown when he came to Chicago, 
but his charm of voice and personality did not permit him 
to remain so for long. He came here from South America 
where he had been on a tour, attended by a train of 
South Americans who learned less English during their 
stay here than almost any group on record. One there 
was who on the first of the year greeted his acquaintances 
with "Happy New York." Another complained that he 
nearly starved in the United States because for three 
weeks the only article of food he knew how to order in a 
restaurant was "ham y eggs," and he grew tired of that 
three times a day. 

Mr. Johnson and Dorothy Jardon made their first 
appearance in "Fedora," Umberto Giordano's somewhat 
antiquated drama of the same name. But the piece con- 
tains one lovely melody, "Amor ti vieta," and here Mr. 
Johnson began his subsequently many times repeated 
practice of "stopping the show." It was a marvel of free 
throated, passionate, but always controlled singing. More 
interest, however, attached to the arrival of Gino 
Marinuzzi. 

This conductor arrived in Chicago a few days after 
the beginning of the season from South America, bringing 
with him the scores of Puccini's three one-act operas, 
"II Tabarro," "Suor Angelica," and "Gianni Schicchi," 
to be done together as a single entertainment and known 
as the "Trittico." It would seem that less than five min- 
utes after his arrival in Chicago he was in the midst of 
the first rehearsal. Such a whirlwind of nervous energy 
has seldom been seen. He was all over the place at once, 
explaining the stories, playing a theme on the piano, 
placing the participants on the stage, showing them how 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 207 

to act, and always infusing them with his own enthusiasm. 
He talked Italian to them when he came, but inside of 
three weeks he was talking idiomatic and plainly pro- 
nounced English. It was the speediest job of learning a 
language that I ever had occasion to observe. Where he 
found the time to do it no one can tell, for Campanini's 
disability threw the brunt of the season on his shoulders, 
and his English studies had to be taken up at odd hours. 
Evidently he had a photographic memory that worked 
with a high speed shutter, for among his other achieve- 
ments, he conducted everything from memory. 

One of his most astonishing feats happened later 
during a performance of "Lohengrin." Scenes and acts 
are sometimes interchangeable in operatic practice, and 
Marinuzzi must have thought that the first scene of the 
opera's third act, involving a complete change of scenery 
on the stage, would take a full intermission. At any rate, 
he left the orchestra pit and went to his room just off 
the stage. 

But suddenly and without signal the lights were 
lowered, trumpets began to blow on the stage, the new 
scene was on, and no conductor in sight. The concert- 
master of the orchestra jumped to the stand, took the 
baton and tried to get the orchestra going, the orchestra 
meanwhile not understanding a new set of signals and 
rapidly slipping into a nose dive. Just a second before 
the crash, the door flung open and a white faced Mari- 
nuzzi leaped into the pit. I am sure that he made the last 
fifty feet in not more than three steps, calling signals to 
the orchestra as he went, grasping the baton as he landed 
on the stand. "F sharp" in one direction, "A natural" in 
another, "Section 513" in a third, and before the audi- 



208 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

ence realized that there had been any danger of going 
wrong, the performance was on an even keel and running 
smoothly again. And this, too, without a score. 

The "Trittico" when it was staged scored two-thirds 
of a success. "II Tabarro," with Miss Jardon, Mr. John- 
son, and Mr. Galeffi, was a stirring melodrama with music 
which, if not the most potent Puccini, was at least in the 
skilled Puccini manner. "Suor Angelica," with lovely 
etherealized bits throughout it, did not quite register. It 
was long and slow moving; even the manifest talents of 
Miss Raisa could not pull it up. I have always believed 
that its leisurely course with nothing but women's voices 
on the stage created a physical effect of monotony be- 
cause of its lack of contrast. 

But "Gianni Schicchi" turned out to be a roaring 
farce. Who but the Italians could ever have evolved 
something side-splittingly funny out of a tale about a 
corpse and the family quarreling over a will? And who 
will ever forget the old Florentine as acted by Virgilio 
Lazzari as he limped over and blew out the great candles 
when he learned he had been left out of the will, or the 
terrific row between Mr. Galeffi and Maria Claessens of 
the marriage of their (stage) children, Mr. Johnson and 
Evelyn Herbert, or the Rabelaisian touch given to the 
orchestra at the entrance of the doctor, Vittorio 
Trevisan? 

Puccini may or may not have had the idea of com- 
posing a huge symphony in terms of opera, stopping, 
however, with the scherzo movement. At any rate, when 
the publishers finally consented to allow the operas to be 
played separately instead of insisting on the three to- 
gether, it was the scherzo, "Gianni Schicchi," which sur- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 209 

vived, and which has been played various seasons ever 
since to the constantly increasing joy of its hearers. It 
has become one of the durable items in the Chicago 
Opera's repertoire. At that, "II Tabarro" is about due 
for a revival. Properly cast, it would be almost sure to 
succeed. 

Miss Raisa got her chance, a year deferred, to sing 
the name part of "Norma," a noble performance on her 
part of an opera so long discarded that it was a novelty 
to all but the oldest of us. A season or two, and it went 
into the silence again, a silence enduring almost ten years. 

Another attempt at finding the great American 
opera was made with "Rip Van Winkle," which Catskill 
legend was given book by Percy MacKaye and music by 
Reginald de Koven. It loomed into sight, it had its 
strenuous rehearsals, it came into first and second and 
third performances, and it passed into oblivion. 

Once again the elect stroked their chins and de- 
claimed by all the gods of music and drama that it was a 
good opera, meanwhile going furiously into efforts to 
explain why so few others of the public thought as they 
did. The most ingenious argument discovered was to the 
effect that (1), no Americans knew how to sing their 
own language; (2), even if they did, American audiences 
had debased their ears so long by listening to tunes in an 
unknown tongue that they did not know how to recognize 
their own language when they heard it. This was actually 
and seriously argued out at length in the columns of a 
Chicago newspaper. It shows what those who believe in 
the English language but also believe in putting it on a 
sane basis have to contend with in order to save the cause 
from those who say that they are its friends. 



2IO FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

No one thought to say that many of Mr. MacKaye's 
words were buried so deep in Mr. de Koven's orchestra- 
tion that the most skilled singers in the world could 
hardly have exhumed them. And no one thought to say 
that Mr. de Koven, considerably older than when he 
wrote "Robin Hood" and various other of his operetta 
masterpieces, had come to the conclusion that the main 
difference between opera and operetta was that in opera 
no tunes should ever be finished, but should be broken off 
short and welded on to scraps of other tunes. After all, 
the music of an opera is of some importance. 

Georges Baklanoff was the Rip of the performance, 
and the one who got most of the applause. It was a 
strenuous season for him, because in its midst he was 
arrested on a federal warrant and threatened with de- 
portation on a charge of immorality. After a considerable 
series of hearings before the commissioner, the charges 
were considered not sustained and were dismissed, but it 
upset his rehearsal time considerable not to say his 
equanimity. 

About this time, too, the claque question bobbed up 
again. Official denials went out that there was such a 
thing, but artists began to tell how they were being ap- 
proached with a demand for from $50 a performance up, 
how some admitted yielding, others refused, still others 
actually asked for the service. 

The claque leader was identified as an assistant stage 
manager. He has been out of the company a good while, 
but while he was there he seemed to have the matter pretty 
well organized. Extra tickets in those days were through 
one source and another generally available — some of the 
leading artists had an item of extra tickets in their con- 




Photo by Daguerre 



Rosa Raisa as Norma 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 211 

tracts — and strong armed and hard palmed applauders 
were stationed around in various parts of the audience, 
usually in the balconies, to start the applause at the right 
time and keep it up when it showed signs of dying out. 
Those who refused to pay the fee were given strong hints 
that their performance would not go so well. Nothing so 
crude as a hiss was employed, but the psychological effect 
of the threat had its importance at a time when nerves 
were tense during a performance, and sometimes applause 
was started at the wrong time during a solo, with the 
result of ruining its climax. 

I have never been able to believe that any of this 
had a final effect on the artistic status or value of a mem- 
ber of the Chicago Opera, but it was an annoyance, and 
in later seasons the management of the company suc- 
ceeded in pretty well wiping it out. 

It was in this season, too, that the company began to 
go in for ballet for its own sake and not merely as an 
entertaining incident in an operatic performance. A long 
campaign had put ballet into the public mind. The lovely 
Anna Pavlowa and her group of experts had been mak- 
ing more or less regular visits to Chicago ever since 19 10 ; 
Serge de Diaghileff's Ballet Russe, with all the light and 
color and fascination of the modern school, had also come 
to the Auditorium for an engagement. The latter was far 
too expensive an undertaking to be a financial success, or 
for that matter to break even, but it had left unforget- 
table memories of what a fine and vivid spectacle the art 
of the dance could be. 

Meanwhile Serge Oukrainsky and Andreas Pavley 
had detached themselves from the Pavlowa company, 
had settled in Chicago and had sought and found an 



212 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

engagement as ballet masters and principal dancers with 
the opera company. Likewise, Adolph Bolm, a notable 
artist, a brilliant choreographer, and a leading member 
of the Diaghileff organization, had decided to settle in 
America and was pursuing his profession in New York. 

Wherefore Oukrainsky and Pavley put on "Bou- 
dour," a work with a plot worked out by themselves to 
music by the Chicago composer, Felix Borowski. The 
Norman-Bel Geddes firm gave it scenery and costumes, 
extravagant, brilliantly colored orientalism, with feath- 
ered head dresses yards long and trains that required the 
services of a dozen or more bearers. Mr. Borowski him- 
self conducted it several times in Chicago and later in 
New York, and it became one of the successful incidents 
of the season. 

At about the same time Mr. Bolm came to Chicago 
to put on "The Birthday of the Infanta." Here John 
Alden Carpenter had taken as a basis a pantomime pre- 
sentment of Oscar Wilde's like named play, had written 
a score, and Robert Edmond Jones had designed the 
scenery and costumes. Mr. Bolm staged and rehearsed it, 
taking the part of the dwarf, and Ruth Page was pre- 
sented in her first full length ballet part, the pretty little 
Infanta. 

Artistically and structurally it was a big thing, one 
by which to have warm memories of Campanini, for 
though he did not live to see it, he had decreed it. If he 
had continued on earth, probably several more of the 
same sort would have issued, for "The Birthday of the 
Infanta" was something to delight his artistic soul. In any 
event it remains as one of the finest achievements of the 
Chicago Opera. Since his time the company has turned an 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 213 

unresponsive ear to similar undertakings on the ground 
of their expense, but this time it was put across. 

Once again the company packed up and went to 
New York and Boston. People began to talk about 
Campanini's successor. Morris Gest was mentioned for 
the post. So was Mary Garden. What finally happened 
was still in the future. 



CHAPTER XXI 

Whatever may be said about the actual achieve- 
ments of the season of 1920-21, they certainly happened 
speedily. The newspaper files will tell you how speedily. 
Let us therefore call on apt quotation's artful aid. In 
some cases it will be necessary to read between the lines 
as carefully as the reporters wrote in that unsatisfactory 
location. 

From the Chicago Tribune, Monday, December 20 : 
"The performance of Leoncavallo's opera, 'Zaza,' which 
was to be featured to-morrow night by the operatic debut 
of Mme. Ganna Walska, the 'world's most wealthy prima 
donna,' has been indefinitely postponed. That announce- 
ment was made yesterday by Herbert M. Johnson of the 
Chicago Opera Company. 

"Simultaneously with the above announcement it 
became known that Mme. Walska checked out Saturday 
from her luxurious quarters in the Blackstone Hotel. She 
left no forwarding address. Friends said she had re- 
turned to her husband's home in New York City. 

"Various explanations were vouchsafed, among 
them being that of Mme. Walska herself which she gave 
to friends: 

" 'There is a great deal of trouble, and I am tired.' 

"Efforts to communicate with the singer at her hus- 
band's home last night were futile. 

"It was explained last night by Director Johnson 

214 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 215 

that 'Zaza' was postponed because of the overwhelming 
amount of work before the artists during the holidays. 

" 'We simply found that "Zaza" was not ready, 
that we could not get it ready, and so we postponed the 
performance,' he said. 

" 'We will no doubt try to give "Zaza" in Chicago 
this season, and if we do, Mme. Walska will certainly 
have an opportunity to play the role if she desires; but 
we're tremendously busy now. Too busy.' " 

"And while Mme. Walska is in New York prepar- 
ing to get still further away from Chicago by hibernating 
in Paris, there continues to be a strange babel of many 
tongues behind the scenes at the Auditorium." 

The buzz of comment on this had hardly begun to 
wear down when on Jan. 7, 192 1, the Tribune published 
the following: 

"Gino Marinuzzi, operatic conductor and composer, 
who took the position of artistic director of the Chicago 
Opera Company following the death of Cleofonte Cam- 
panini last winter, has resigned. Beginning to-day, Sig. 
Marinuzzi will take his old position as one of the con- 
ductors. 

"Sig. Marinuzzi gave an explanation of his action 
during the last intermission of 'Lohengrin' at the Audi- 
torium last night to a Tribune reporter. He said that 
the artistic temperaments of the company's stars had 
turned him into a victim of insomnia, and in order to save 
his health he was forced to resign as director of the 
operas. 

"Sig. Marinuzzi exhibited all traces of a man physi- 
cally tired as he told his story. His face looked drawn 
and deep lines imbedded his brow. 



2l6 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

" 'I could not stand the wrangling of the stars any- 
longer, so I resigned as artistic director,' said Sig. Mari- 
nuzzi. 'Now I am just a conductor. I will not assign any 
more roles and when the stars have objections they can- 
not complain to me. They will have to speak to Mr. 
Johnson. 

" 'They have given me nothing but sleepless nights. 
Their voices have been in my ears twenty-four hours a 
day. Each one with a grievance, each one objecting to a 
role I have assigned to some one else. 

" 'First there is a tenor who approaches me with 
venom in his eyes. He has just heard that I have as- 
signed another tenor to a certain role. He wanted that 
role himself. 

" 'Then comes a soprano. She is angry because she 
has not been given a certain role. Ah, they bring their 
troubles to me. Then I go home. I try to sleep. I can- 
not ... I get up and pace the floor until five o'clock in 
the morning. In a few hours there are rehearsals. I get no 
rest. I cannot listen to their talk any longer.' 

"Sig. Marinuzzi is scheduled to conduct four operas 
next week and is also preparing for the production of 
'Salome' the following week. 

"Cable dispatches announcing the arrival of Mme. 
Walska, Polish prima donna, and wife of Alexander 
Smith Cochrane, one of New York City's richest men, in 
Europe were received in Chicago last night. Mme. 
Walska is quoted as blaming Mary Garden for her with- 
drawal from the Chicago Opera Company." 

And Miss Garden, called from her sleep to speak 
over the telephone about the last paragraph, answered, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 217 

"The rumor is an absurdity and I have nothing whatso- 
ever to say about anything whatsoever." 

Whereupon, on Friday, January 14, the Tribune 
printed a front-page story with an eight-column streamer 
head, "Mary Garden Opera Head." The article was 
some three columns long, but the gist of it was in a quoted 
statement from the executive committee of the opera 
company, signed by Gen. Charles G. Dawes and sent to 
the newspapers by Harold F. McCormick. As an im- 
portant document in the operatic history of Chicago, it 
deserves reproduction in full. Here it is : 

"Miss Mary Garden has been elected general di- 
rector of the Chicago Opera Association. 

"This election took place at a meeting held to-day 
of the executive committee, with members of the board 
of directors, and can now be announced. The election 
and the new administration will be effective at once. 

"Miss Garden assumes the responsibilities involved 
in the position offered on the basis of accepting no com- 
pensation as general director for this season or the com- 
ing one, and she will only receive, as heretofore, cachets 
from regular performances as an artist of the company. 
She will continue, therefore, in the dual role of general 
director and artist, just as Maestro Campanini continued 
to conduct operas while he was general director. 

"This particular program applies directly only to 
the remainder of this season and next season, which will 
terminate the present regime, or the duration of the 
present five-year guaranty. 

"Last spring, pending further consideration and 
final determination of a successor to Maestro Campa- 
nini as general director, the position of executive director 



2l8 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

was created and Herbert Johnson was asked to fill it; 
and the position of artistic manager was created and 
Gino Marinuzzi was asked to fill it. Mr. Johnson has 
resigned as executive director and his resignation has 
been accepted. Mr. Marinuzzi has resigned as artistic 
manager and his resignation has been accepted. These 
two positions have now been abolished. Mr. Marinuzzi 
continues as conductor. 

"Miss Mary Garden, as general director, will have, 
therefore, general charge and direction under the execu- 
tive committee of the affairs of the Chicago Opera Asso- 
ciation, both artistic and executive. 

"Announcement shortly will be made of appoint- 
ment of a business manager and others who may be de- 
sired to perform the respective duties assigned them and 
to assist Miss Garden in the work. Otherwise the man- 
agement and staff remain the same as heretofore. 

"Under this development Miss Garden undertakes 
to lead and guide the destinies of the Chicago Opera 
Association during this and the coming season, and will 
contribute the same spirit and magnetic leadership which 
were so pronounced in Cleofonte Campanini, and will 
continue for Chicago the work which for ten years he 
incessantly and with devotion and consecration built up 
to the point which placed the Chicago Opera Association 
as second to no opera organization in the world. For this 
prospect of service for our civic enterprise the community 
is greatly indebted to Miss Garden. 

"The directors are glad to feel that, in announcing 
this new procedure, the public and the patrons of opera 
and the artists, staff and members of the association will 
acclaim Miss Garden and give her their hearty support 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 2IO. 

in the work to come, and she, in turn, can be counted 
upon to present opera in Chicago and elsewhere through- 
out the country in a manner worthy of such support from 
those who have the interest of the organization at heart. 

"The members of the board are contented in the 
firm belief that the permanency of grand opera for Chi- 
cago is more assured than ever before, and that there- 
fore we face the future under splendid auspices." 

This statement came out, as noted previously, 
through the agency of Mr. McCormick and above the 
signature of Gen. Dawes. The other directors at the his- 
toric meeting were John G. Shedd, Charles L. Hutchin- 
son, Samuel Insull, Stanley Field, and R. T. Crane, Jr. 

Congratulations by the thousands from all corners 
of the earth poured in on Miss Garden. She received 
them calmly. The day after her apointment she was due 
to sing in "Monna Vanna," so she remained in retire- 
ment, seeing no one, after the custom of opera singers 
with heavy performances in front of them. When she got 
around to being interviewed she was highly discreet in 
her utterances, saying a little about her hope of putting 
Italian, French and German opera on an equal footing, 
of producing English operas if she could find some good 
ones to produce, about her objection to any form of trans- 
lated opera — and no one dared mention her own "Tosca" 
performances — and little else. 

On January 22 George M. Spangler was appointed 
business manager, coming over after a series of years as 
convention manager of the Chicago Association of Com- 
merce. There had been talk of the appointment of 
Charles L. Wagner, manager at that time of John Mc- 
Cormack, Galli-Curci, and other notables in the music 



2 20 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

world, in fact he came from New York to Chicago at 
just about that time. But nothing came of the gossip. 
Mr. Spangler took charge with a rush and made himself 
famous with his first interview. Enlarging on his theory 
that he must "sell the idea" that opera must be popu- 
larized, especially with the men, he said: 

"If the men don't want to wear their 'soup and fish,' 
why, they don't have to. It's their support, not their 
dress suits, we want. Even if they wear overalls, they're 
welcome." 

Miss Garden sent for Jacques Coini to be stage 
director. He had been stage director for Hammerstein 
in the old Manhattan days when she was a member of 
the company. And when the Chicago organization moved 
on for its annual session in New York, she cabled to 
Giorgio Polacco in Italy to return and take charge of 
musical affairs. Mr. Polacco sailed on the first available 
boat, and has been with the company ever since. 

Looking over the records of the season, there is 
little which at this time seems as interesting as what got 
into the news as distinguished from the musical columns. 
Proceedings got under way November 17 with Mari- 
nuzzi's own opera, "Jacquerie," a work concerning itself 
with the fleshly droit du seigneur of the middle ages 
and a subsequent peasants' revolt. Edward Johnson, 
Yvonne Gall, and Carlo Galefli sang the principal parts. 
It had the customary first night's applause, but what- 
ever chance of permanent success it had was lost because 
it was not given again for three weeks, by which time it 
slumped a little in performance and its public interest 
had begun to evaporate. 

Baklanoff, returning to take up his engagement with 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 22 1 

the company, was held at Ellis Island for a few days 
while the authorities debated whether or not they should 
deport him on charges of immorality, based on the trouble 
that he got into the season before. He was able to prove 
that he was not guilty of the charges made against him 
and was allowed to proceed, to the great disgust of the 
organizations opposing his entry, who announced that 
he had escaped on a "technicality." But it was no techni- 
cality. It was an actual case of being charged with a 
definite offense of which he was able to clear himself. 

It had a curious effect on his audiences. He made 
his first appearance as Scarpia in "Tosca," on Saturday 
afternoon, November 20, and his entrance was the signal 
for a riot of applause. It seemed as though he stood with 
head bowed for fully five minutes while the patrons ap- 
plauded and refused to let the performance go on. Such 
a demonstration never happened on a Saturday afternoon 
before or since. Baklanoff was then as ever a bit of a 
philosopher. His only comment was, "Yesterday is for- 
ever yesterday." 

Joseph Hislop, a Scotch tenor, was a new member 
of the company that season. He got into print through 
his complaint that only French and Italian artists were 
permitted to engage upon a performance without molesta- 
tion tending to impair its artistic worth. It is a state- 
ment sometimes heard from singers who fail to arrive, 
and seldom from those who do not fail. The most vivid 
recollection of Mr. Hislop during that season was his 
non-comformist ways with the role of Romeo, when, dur- 
ing the marriage scene, he did not remove his hat. 

Another tenor, American this time, made a lasting 
impression. One day Rosa Raisa surprised me by saying, 



222 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

"We are going to do 'Otello.' " Knowing that no tenor 
in the company was capable of lasting through a single 
act of that trying work, I said, "Who will sing the name 
part?" 

"A stranger, an American," Miss Raisa answered. 
"He has been singing in Italy under the name of Carlo 
Marziale. I think his name in English is Marshall. I 
have just been rehearsing with him and the maestro in 
my room. Of course I do not know how he will sound 
in a theater, but I assure you, in a room I have never 
heard the equal of his voice." 

In due time "Otello" was put on with Charles Mar- 
shall as Otello, Miss Raisa as Desdemona, Titta Ruffo 
as Iago. Miss Raisa was quite right. Mr. Marshall began 
to be famous for the part that night. Vocally, physically, 
and temperamentally he was made for it. He had done it 
in Italy, as she said, but finding engagements few, he 
had settled down to become an unnoticed teacher in 
Philadelphia. Then his chance came, and he took it. In- 
cidentally I was greeted with cold looks around the 
Auditorium for days afterward, because he was intended 
to be a surprise to the Chicago public. Miss Raisa, not 
knowing about the publicity plans, had told me the news, 
and I had printed it, thereby ruining a perfectly good 
campaign of press agentry. 

Ruffo, desirous of getting a star part for himself, 
also appeared in Leoncavallo's last opera, "Edipo Re." 
It was a fairly faithful though somewhat shortened ver- 
sion of the Sophocles drama, but Leoncavallo never wrote 
but one score that lived, and "Edipo Re" was not it. 

"Aphrodite," by Erlanger, was put on as a New 
Year's opera with Miss Garden and Mr. Johnson in the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 223 

leading parts. It was a work characterized by extreme 
economy, not to say niggardliness in good music, and ex- 
treme extravagance in epidermic display by both singers 
and ballet. It died hastily. 

Galli-Curci, having first obtained a divorce from her 
first husband, whom she charged with great liberality in 
the spending of her earnings, coupled with physical 
cruelty toward her personally, married her accompanist, 
Homer Samuels, in Minneapolis, January 15, and was 
one of the first to send a congratulatory telegram to Miss 
Garden over her new position. Miss Garden herself be- 
fore her election had approved prohibition and the good 
looks of the Chicago police, had quarreled with Con- 
ductor Henri Morin and had made up with him, all of 
which was duly inscribed in print. 

So the decks were cleared for the Garden consul- 
ship. 



CHAPTER XXII 

Mary Garden's year as general director was the 
last year of the Chicago Opera Association. For though 
with the exception of the 19 14 season opera in Chicago 
has been continuous since 1910, the company has operated 
under three different names as three different corpora- 
tions. Wherefore Miss Garden's operation was to be the 
final and climactic season of the second company and 
simultaneously the organization of the third, the Chicago 
Civic Opera Company. 

Financial matters of the Chicago Opera Association 
had steadily been growing less satisfactory. Four years 
before Campanini and his associates had brought to- 
gether a group of guarantors who put their names on the 
dotted line for a period of five years and amounts that 
added up to $110,000 a year. He himself had made a 
faithful effort to operate the company within such limit, 
but he was now dead, and since the war costs had been 
mounting in every direction to a harrowing extent. 

Rather than let the company cease operations for 
want of money, Mr. and Mrs. Harold F. McCormick 
of Chicago had with great generosity assumed the bur- 
den of paying its obligations, or such of them as remained 
after the guarantors had paid their stipulated sums. 
Plenty remained. More remained every year, until at 
the time Miss Garden took charge one sees a statement 
to the effect that the deficit for the year had run up to 

224 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 225 

$350,000. One of the first quotations attributed to her 
was to the effect that this amount must be cut down. With 
what success it was cut down is now to be told. 

Possibly a light on her operations may be afforded 
by a comparison of the rosters of 1920-21, the season 
before she took the management, and 1921-22, her year 
of direction. They are taken from the company's records. 

1920-21 

Sopranos — Olga Carrara (new), Elsa Diemer 
(new), Dorothy Francis (new), Yvonne Gall, Amelita 
Galli-Curci, Mary Garden, Marcelle Goudard (new), 
Florence Macbeth, Margery Maxwell, Rosa Raisa, 
Rosina Storchio (new), Ganna Walska (new). 

Mezzo-sopranos and contraltos — Gabriella Besan- 
zoni (new), Philine Falco (new), Rose Lutiger Gannon 
(new), Carmen Pascova (new), Cyrena Van Gordon. 
In addition there was Maria Claessens, who had not been 
reengaged, but was sent for in haste after the season 
started and it was found how seriously she was needed. 

Tenors — Alessandro Bonci, Joseph Hislop (new), 
Edward Johnson, Forrest Lamont, Charles Marshall 
(new), Riccardo Martin (new), Jose Mojica, Lucien 
Muratore, Lodovico Oliviero, Albert Paillard (new), 
Tito Schipa. 

Baritones — Georges Baklanoff, Sallustio Civai 
(new), Desire Defrere, Hector Dufranne, Carlo Galeffi, 
Giacomo Rimini, Titta Ruffo. 

Bassos — Edouard Cotreuil, Teofilo Dentale (new), 
Virgilio Lazzari, Constantin Nicolay, Vittorio Trevisan. 



2 26 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Conductors — Gino Marinuzzi, Pietro Cimini, Henri 
Morin, Gabriel Santini, Alexander Smallens. 

Count the names and compare them with the fol- 
lowing list. 

1921-22 

Sopranos — Lina Cavalieri (debut), Jeanne Dusseau 
(debut), Claire Dux (debut), Amelita Galli-Curci, Mary 
Garden, Maria Ivogun (debut), Nina Koshetz (debut), 
Alice d'Hermanoy, Lydia Lipkowska (debut), Florence 
Macbeth, Mary McCormic (debut), Edith Mason 
(debut), Margery Maxwell, Marguerite Namara, Grazi- 
ella Pareto (debut), Rosa Raisa. 

Mezzo-sopranos and contraltos — Maria Claessens, 
Marguerite D'Alvarez, Philine Falco, Frances Paperte, 
Irene Pavloska, Eleanor Reynolds (debut), Jeanne 
Schneider (debut), Cyrena Van Gordon. 

Tenors — Octave Dua, Edward Johnson, Forrest 
Lamont, Charles Marshall, Riccardo Martin, Jose Mo- 
jica, Lucien Muratore, Lodovico Oliviero, Tino Pattiera 
(debut), Theodore Ritch (debut), Antonio Rocca 
(debut), Tito Schipa, Richard Schubert (debut). 

Baritones — Georges Baklanoff, Vicente Ballester 
(debut), William Beck, Desire Defrere, Hector Du- 
franne, Alfred Maguenat, Giacomo Rimini, Joseph 
Schwarz (debut), Jerome Uhl (debut). 

Bassos — Sallustio Civai, Edouard Cotreuil, Edward 
Lankow (debut), Virgilio Lazzari, Constantin Nicolay, 
James Wolf (debut), Paul Payan (debut), Vittorio 
Trevisan. 

Principal conductor — Giorgio Polacco. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 227 

Conductors — Pietro Cimini, Angelo Ferrari, Gabriel 
Grovlez, Alexander Smallens. 

And more were taken on at intervals during the 
season. A few did not appear at all, Ganna Walska in the 
first list, as has already been told, Lina Cavalieri and 
Lydia Lipkowska in the second. But at that there is 
considerable difference in size in rosters. In fact when 
the season was footed up, it was found that many of 
the singers were entitled under their contracts to fees 
that they had never been given chances to earn. In other 
words, the company had contracted to give more appear- 
ances than could possibly be given in the length of the 
season. More will be told of this later. 

Looking back at the situation after it had settled 
down, it would seem that Miss Garden made her greatest 
mistake in the form of the agreement by which she was 
to take over the company. It was announced at that time 
that she would donate her services as general director, 
taking cachets only for her appearances on the stage as 
artist. 

This was a magnificent gesture, but wholly imprac- 
ticable. It is a full sized job to be the general director 
of a major opera company, another to be a popular and 
busy artist, the two together are more than one person 
ought to be expected to sustain. Campanini had been both 
general director and conductor, but he died before his 
time. And even he could put in more time as director than 
any singer-director, because on the days that singers 
appear, they make it a point to remain in seclusion and 
quiet until it is time to go to the theater. So if Miss 
Garden, artist, were announced to appear three times in 
one week, and there were several of those occasions, Miss 



22 8 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Garden, director, would be absent from her desk for 
those three days. At such times it is not impossible to 
imagine that questions might come up demanding prompt 
decision, with no one at hand to decide them. From a 
practical standpoint, it would undoubtedly have been 
better if Miss Garden had taken a salary as director and 
donated her appearances as artist. 

But she made a gallant, if heart-breaking effort to 
function in the two capacities. In the spring of 1921, 
having returned from the company's tour to the Pacific 
coast, she gave permission to the company's singers to 
appear at Ravinia during the summer season if they 
desired, something that Campanini had always frowned 
upon, she signed up part of the list of artists just quoted, 
and departed for Europe to sign up the rest, pausing in 
New York to dictate her autobiography for a newspaper 
syndicate, a history which in its later chapters included 
her editorial opinions on love, marriage, jazz music, and 
the eighteenth amendment to the federal constitution. 

Meanwhile an earnest, lively and finally successful 
movement was started to assure the permanence of opera 
in Chicago. A Chicago operatic committee was organized 
to make a drive for five hundred guarantors, each to 
agree to subscribe for a period of five years whatever 
percentage of $1,000 a year should be necessary to pay 
the company's annual deficit. It was later found advisable 
to modify the plan both as to number of guarantors and 
size of guaranty, but the goal was $500,000 a year for 
five years, and that goal was in due time reached. 

The general chairman of the citizens' committee was 
Robert E. Kenyon, the vice-chairman, Elmer T. Stevens, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 229 

and Mrs. Jacob Baur was made chairman of the women's 
section. 

On the executive committee were William Rufus 
Abbott, William B. Austin, George W. Dixon, Evan 
Evans, Marquette A. Healy, Samuel Insull, Dr. Harry 
Pratt Judson, L. B. Kuppenheimer, Henry C. Lytton, 
Clayton Mark, Arthur Belleville McCoid, John J. 
Mitchell, Dr. Frederick B. Moorehead, Charles F. W. 
Nichols, Samuel C. Osborn, Augustus S. Peabody, 
Charles S. Peterson, Julius Rosenwald, F. L. Ryder, 
Joseph T. Ryerson, John C. Shaffer, John G. Shedd, 
Andrew R. Sherriff, H. C. Sherman, Redmond D. 
Stephens, Edward E. Swadener, and Frederick W. 
Upham. 

The general committee consisted of Dr. Frank Bil- 
lings, Thomas M. Boyd, Arthur Dunham, Livingston 
Fairbank, Samuel Felton, Albert Fink, August Gatzert, 
C. H. Hammond, Harry W. Jarrow, George Harvey 
Jones, Thomas D. Knight, A. J. Korr, A. F. Kramer, 
Alexander Legge, Sidney Lowenstein, George H. Louns- 
bury, George Lytton, Robert H. McCormick, Marvin 
B. Pool, Otto Schulz, Frank E. Scott, Boetius H. Sulli- 
van, and Charles G. Willson. 

Even before the season started, there was word of 
a delay. Lina Cavalieri was announced for the name part 
of the second night's "Tosca," but the week before she 
was bulletined as "too ill to appear," and that "her local 
debut was postponed." The postponement became perma- 
nent. The name of Cavalieri was corrected to read Raisa, 
and the opera bill was unchanged. 

Just after Miss Garden's appointment as director, 
the lamented B. L. T., the famous conductor of "A 



230 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Line o'Type or Two" in the Tribune wrote a poem on 
the subject for the Line. He called it: 

TO MARY GARDEN— WITH A POSTSCRIPT 

So wonderful your art, if you preferred 
Drayma to opry, you'd be all the mustard ; 

For you (ecstatic pressmen have averred) 

Have Sarah Bernhardt larruped to a custard. 

So marvelous your voice, too, if you cared 

With turns and trills and tra-la-las to dazzle, 

You'd have (enraptured critics have declared) 
All other singers beaten to a frazzle. 

So eloquent your legs, were it your whim 

To caper nimbly in a classic measure, 
Terpsichore (entranced reviewers hymn) 

Would swoon upon her lyre for very pleasure. 

If there be aught you cannot do, 'twould seem 
The world has yet that something to discover. 

One has to hand it to you. You're a scream, 
And 'tis a joy to watch you put it over. 

POSTSCRIPTUM 

If there be any test you can't survive, 

The present test will mean your crucifying; 

But I am laying odds of eight to five 

That you'll come through with all your colors flying. 



CHA PTER XXIII 

Samson and Delilah (in French), libretto by 
Ferdinand Lemaire, score by Camille Saint-Saens, 
at the Auditorium, Monday, Nov. 15, 1921. The 
cast: 

Samson , Lucien Muratore 

Delilah Marguerite D' Alvarez 

The High Priest of 

Dagon Hector Dufranne 

Abimelech, Satrap of Gaza. Desire Defrere 

An Old Hebrew Paul Payan (debut) 

A Philistine Messenger. Octave Dua 

First Philistine Lodovico Oliviero 

Second Philistine Jerome Uhl (debut) 

Conductor Giorgio Polacco 

Stage Director Jacques Coini 

"Chicago is at last sophisticated," hymned one of 
the enraptured reviewers in print next day. As much 
of Chicago as could crowd into the Auditorium had a 
chance to prove its sophistication, for Mme. D'Alvarez 
on her first entrance, standing at the top of the steps 
of the temple, slipped and fell all the way to the bottom. 
In fact she slid into the middle of the stage. It was one 
of the most striking instances of the self-discipline of 
artists on record, for while the audience gasped, thinking 
she might have cracked her spine, she, with practically 
a continuation of the same motion, rolled to her feet and 
came up with the note between her teeth and on pitch. 

231 



232 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

She finished the opera with no delay and no com- 
plaint, though she was rather lame the next day. But the 
next time she appeared in this work she took the pre- 
caution to apply rosin to her sandals until you could have 
heard their squeak to the back of the house. 

It was a bit of shrewd showmanship, one of Miss 
Garden's best, that she did not appear under her own 
direction the opening night. Nor did she on the second, 
for then Raisa appeared with Tino Pattiera, a new tenor, 
and Baklanoff in "Tosca." Even on the third night she 
chose to watch the performance from her box next the 
stage on the right hand side. Then it was that Edith 
Mason in "Madame Butterfly" began the lovely singing 
that ever since has made her one of the glories of the 
Chicago Opera. 

Finally on Thursday night, the fourth of the sea- 
son, Miss Garden appeared in the name part of "Monna 
Vanna," to the Prinzivalle of Muratore and the Guido 
of Baklanoff. Just to fix the opening date, the Monday 
before, Chicago's opening date, had been the Metropoli- 
tan's opening date as well, and in New York Galli-Curci 
had begun the season in "La Traviata," with Gigli and 
De Luca as her associates. It was the first time in fifteen 
years that Caruso had not opened the New York season, 
but that famous tenor had come to the end of his earthly 
career early in the previous August. 

There was another way of fixing the date, for the 
next day, Friday, Nov. 18, Business Manager George 
M. Spangler resigned, and to make it more annoying, no 
one was ever able to find out exactly why. Here was the 
account as printed in the Evening Post, and typical 
of all the rest: 




Photo by Hutchinson 
Marguerite D'Alvarez as Dalila in" "Samson* et Dalila" 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 233 

M 'I will say nothing,' Mr. Spangler said. 'If any- 
thing must be said, Mr. McCormick will say it.' 

" 'The move was for the best interests of the opera,' 
Mr. McCormick said when reached. 'I can say nothing 
further.' 

"Spearman Lewis, publicity director of the organiza- 
tion, said that his lips were sealed. 

" 'I can tell you nothing,' he added, 'except what 
the formal announcement contains.' 

"Miss Mary Garden, director general of the com- 
pany, could not be reached." 

That is the handicapped way we used to try to col- 
lect news. The Tribune, however, added this : 

"There was a report that Mr. Spangler's retire- 
ment was due to the known differences between Harold 
McCormick and Mrs. McCormick — contentions that in- 
volved policies with respect to the opera. This rumor 
was to the effect that Spangler represented the views of 
Mrs. McCormick. On the other hand there was a story 
that Mrs. McCormick objected to the 'salesmanship' 
method of Spangler and that her husband, in deference 
to her views, called for Spangler's resignation. 

"A friend of Spangler's declared that 'he was be- 
tween the devil and the deep blue sea trying to carry out 
orders for two masters.' " 

Clark A. Shaw, who had been the company's tour 
manager for six years and has been in the same position 
ever since, was appointed business manager to finish the 
season. One of the problems of the new regime was to 
obtain 248 more signatures to the guaranty list. Spangler 
had already signed 252. 

To add to the general publicity situation, Luigi 



234 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Curci, first husband of the singer, now composed the 
story of his life and hers at great length and with pic- 
tures, carrying it up to the time of their divorce. Not 
that it got him anything except what he and presumably 
the actual, or "ghost" writer of the biography were paid 
by the newspapers using it. 

What with one thing and another, the season was 
so busy that looking back at it now seems like looking 
into an active kaleidoscope. There were operas new and 
operas old. Wagner in German came back for the first 
time since the war. There had been a gesture in that 
direction the year before with "Lohengrin" in English, 
but this time Miss Garden decreed "Tannhauser" in 
German. Raisa, who had been the English Elsa, was now 
the German Elisabeth, though neither language was 
native to her. She was a glorious wave of emotion and 
music as she swept into "Dich theure Halle," and she 
held it to the end. The Tannhauser was an importa- 
tion, Richard Schubert, rated, at least the publicity de- 
partment insisted that he was rated, as Germany's fore- 
most tenor. But his singing was nothing more sustained 
than a melodic dot-and-dash system, and he was not a 
wave of any kind. 

Claire Dux, another ideally lovely singer, was 
brought to the United States in this season, but it now 
seems evident that no one in the opera company knew 
what a charming artist she was. At least no one took the 
trouble to present her under the best auspices. She proved 
afterwards that she was a beautiful Elsa in "Lohengrin" 
and a Mozart singer beyond compare, wherefore they 
introduced her to her first Chicago audience as Mimi 
in "La Boheme." 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 235 

This is a fair sample of the way many great oppor- 
tunities were tossed away that year. Not that Miss Dux 
was not a good Mimi. She was. The point is that in a 
company steadily growing more and more Italianate, 
there were always many good Mimis. On the other hand 
there were other things in which Miss Dux was supreme. 
It was nothing less than folly to make her compete with 
the others when she might have been on a distinct pin- 
nacle of her own without competition. In course of time 
she found it anyway. 

About this time some alarming reports began to 
issue from the company about the possibility of not rais- 
ing the guaranty fund. This was probably a tactical move 
intended to jar Chicagoans into a realization of what 
would happen if the opera had to go. It was accompanied 
by the promise of a budget and economy in all depart- 
ments. The public was given another chance to come in. 

Galli-Curci returned to New York to take up her 
ten performances, and Miss Garden busied herself with 
a revival of "Salome." She was to have sung it on Dec. 
18, and Richard Strauss, its composer, was to have been 
present, but overwork and Chicago climate intervened, 
and Miss Garden retired to her north side apartment to 
fight off a threatened attack of pneumonia. She was suc- 
cessful, and the performance took place after a ten days' 
delay. Then came "Love for Three Oranges." 

This was without doubt an opera ahead of its time. 
Serge Prokofieff had been in the country for several 
years, composing, playing, conducting his somewhat ad- 
vanced music. If he had not succeeded in making it en- 
tirely popular, he had made himself well known, so much 
so that Campanini had commissioned him to write an 



236 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

opera. "The Love for Three Oranges" was the result. 

Both libretto and music were his. He founded his 
book on a story by the eighteenth century Carlo Gozzi. 
Being Russian himself, he wrote it in Russian, and Miss 
Garden forthwith proved her faith in the value of opera 
in its original tongue by having it given in French. 

He had announced that it would be a satire in a 
reasonably savage manner, but it turned out to be fan- 
tastic burlesque, and while satire is sometimes hard 
enough to project across the footlights, burlesque is much 
worse. At any rate, it left many of our best people 
dazed and wondering. 

The scenery and costumes had been built at Cam- 
panini's orders by Boris Anisfeld, and their presence was 
one reason why the opera was given. It was no end bril- 
liant as a spectacle and no end technically difficult to 
stage and sing. The chorus in the corners, grouped as 
tragedians, comedians, lyricists, empty heads, and ab- 
surdities, made running comments on the action. The 
action, inspired imbecility, sublimated clowning, be- 
nighted awkwardness, was quite as amusing as Proko- 
fieff meant it to be. But the music was enigmatic for the 
public of that day, a public that felt that without tunes, 
what was the use of opera? 

Repeated, given over and over again, until some 
acquaintance had been made with the score, just as "Pel- 
leas and Melisande" had to be repeated, it might finally 
have made its way. But "Quel desastre !" as sung by 
Defrere at the end of one of the most amusing scenes 
of all, was echoed in the hearts of later and more fearful 
managements. Worst of all, the scenery had been built 
in so fragile construction that it soon began to fall apart, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 237 

and what was left was deliberately knocked to pieces. 
So "The Three Oranges" passed, probably for good and 
all as far as Chicago is concerned, though it was later 
given in Germany with considerable success. 

Maria Ivogun came for one performance and went. 
Beatrice Kottlar appeared to sing Isolde to Schubert's 
Tristan, and seldom has there been a less convincing case 
made out for the music of Wagner, though Conductor 
Polacco wrought wonders with the orchestra. Mr. and 
Mrs. McCormick, who had kept the opera alive for 
three or four years, were divorced, and Miss Garden 
announced a new find, Ulysses Lappas, tenor. He sang 
the part of the virtuous bandit in a revival of "The Girl 
of the Golden West," and Miss Garden emphatically 
announced his tenorial and dramatic virtues, though the 
audience manifested a preference for Miss Raisa's 
Minnie. 

And Galli-Curci swore that she would never desert 
Chicago. Then Muratore said he was going to resign. 

It can safely be estimated that toward the end of a 
highly intensive and none too smoothly running season, 
a good many members of the company began to get on 
each other's nerves. The newspapers began to bristle with 
accounts of back stage rows, although most of these are 
subject to deep discounts. Any one who has ever attended 
an operatic rehearsal will be sure to hear sharp remarks 
handed about, and in a foreign language they are likely 
to sound terrifying, but generally there is no malice about 
them. But when Muratore resigned, he apparently 
meant it. 

He was not entirely tactful in the way he did it. 



238 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

He said it was "impossible to come back here under the 
management of Mary Garden." 

Miss Garden did not stop to call a stenographer 
for a reply. She sat down and wrote this: "Foreign dicta- 
tion is a thing of the past. We are to have a little Ameri- 
can dictation for a while and see how that will work 
out. It is a great pity to see an artist of the value of 
Monsieur Muratore so badly counseled. Mary Garden." 

That, for the time being, was that, with the "di- 
recta," as Miss Garden insisted on calling herself, ac- 
credited as winner. The company moved on to New York. 
Muratore sang one performance, "Carmen," with Miss 
Garden, by the way, and promptly achieved a permanent 
separation from his appendix at the hands and knives of 
Dr. C. F. A. Locke and Dr. Aspinwall Judd at the Audo- 
bon hospital. He recovered just before the end of the 
New York season in time to sing one performance of 
"Monna Vanna," again with Miss Garden, and a few 
times on tour, but that was his final year in America. 

A short spring tour, and all that was left was to 
pick up the pieces. That there were more pieces than 
usual was indicated in a speech made by Samuel Insull 
before the Friends of Opera, an organization of lead- 
ing Chicago women busied with the sale of boxes and the 
continuing activity of getting signatures for the guaranty 
fund. Mr. Insull was reported by the American as saying: 

"No contract will be signed by any general director 
or business manager or any other individual from this 
day on. Every contract in future must bear the signa- 
ture of the chairman of the finance committee and one 
member of the board of directors. We will spend our 
own money." 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 239 

But just how many the pieces were and how serious 
their breakage became known only later in the spring, 
when it was noised about that the losses of the season 
had not been $350,000, as in the year before. They were 
$1,100,000. 

Money had been spent, and, one might say, lav- 
ishly. If this was the most exciting season of the Chicago 
Opera, it was also the most expensive. For several weeks 
Mr. Shaw's chief employment as business manager was 
to plead with, cajole, and browbeat various of the artists 
into accepting less than the face values of their contracts, 
since in a good many cases there had been no chance 
for the company to give them the number of perform- 
ances to which they were entitled. He was successful in 
saving between $200,000 and $300,000 out of the wreck, 
but plenty was left. 

It was a grand year, financially speaking, for some 
of the artists. Baklanoff was reported to have been given 
a contract for forty appearances at $1,000 each, plus his 
income tax. He was kept reasonably busy during the 
season, but there were plenty who were not. 

Muratore's fee has already been mentioned. But 
years before Campanini had delivered judgment on Mura- 
tore thus: "Muratore is expensif arteest because he no 
draw. De people all say, 'Yes, Muratore, magneeficent 
arteest.' But when Muratore sing, dey all stay home — 
sit at table and mak' de dinner." 

Maria Ivogun was brought from Europe and she 
sang once. Lappas came from Monte Carlo and sang 
twice. Claire Dux appeared three times. Vicente Bal- 
lester, Spanish baritone, sang twice, once as a relief to 
Joseph Schwarz, who declared himself ill in the middle 



24O FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

of a performance. Marguerite D'Alvarez sang twice and 
went away with a check for six more performances which 
she did not sing. Marguerite Namara sang once; Nina 
Koshetz, Charles Marshall, and Edward Lankow twice 
each. 

Riccardo Martin was on a salary of $1,000 a week, 
and appeared in three performances. Edward Johnson, 
one of the finest artists ever in the employ of the com- 
pany, was confined to his few appearances in "Madame 
Butterfly." Forrest Lamont was up three times. Johanna 
Gadski was reported to have been paid $7,500 to cancel 
her contract with the company, and at that when it got 
to New York, she brought suit for $500,000, alleging 
defamation. Florence Macbeth and Lydia Lipkowska 
were not heard at all, and Graziella Pareto appeared 
once in New York. 

"In any week of the season," said one of the regu- 
lar patrons, "the lobby company far outnumbered the 
singing company." 

There were also some costly productions. "Love for 
Three Oranges" was credited with having cost $100,000. 
It was given twice in Chicago and once in New York. 

But Harold F. McCormick and Mrs. Edith Rocke- 
feller McCormick made good on their pledges. They 
paid off all debts and turned over all of the physical 
properties of the Chicago Opera Association free of 
charge to the new company, henceforth to be known as 
the Chicago Civic Opera Company. 

At a meeting held Jan. 11, 1922, the new company 
was organized. It had these as officers: Samuel Insull, 
president; Gen. Charles G. Dawes and Richard T. Crane, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 241 

Jr., vice-presidents; Charles L. Hutchinson, treasurer; 
Stanley Field, secretary. 

The permanent finance committee, from then on to 
be in control of financial management and policy, con- 
sisted of Mr. Insull, chairman; Mr. Field, vice-chairman, 
and John J. Mitchell, John G. Shedd, and L. B. Kup- 
penheimer. 

The board of trustees was made up of the officials 
already mentioned and also Cyrus H. McCormick, 
Harold F. McCormick, Mrs. Edith Rockefeller Mc- 
Cormick, Ernest R. Graham, Robert Allerton, Joseph 
R. Noel, Frank D. Stout, Martin A. Ryerson, Edward 
F. Swift, Edward E. Gore, Robert E. Kenyon, Max Pam, 
and S. A. Kauffman. It was announced that the first busi- 
ness of the organization would be to raise the second 
half of the guaranty fund of $500,000, but that as before, 
it was really up to Chicago. 

And when the company got back from its western 
tour, Miss Garden resigned as "directa," and Mr. Insull 
stated that in his opinion she had acted "in a very gen- 
tlemanly manner." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

While opera in the city of Chicago was making its 
way through years of ups and downs, another opera 
company not far away was developing itself into prom- 
inence through a series of summer seasons. This was 
the company at Ravinia Park, situated in the southern 
part of Highland Park, twenty-five miles north of the 
Chicago loop and close to the shore of Lake Michigan. 
Ravinia deserves more than passing mention, not only 
because its accomplishments were and are definite and 
fine, but because the same accomplishments are so widely 
different from what was originally planned. 

Early in the present century an electric traction line 
was built connecting Chicago and Milwaukee, and 
paralleling the already existing Milwaukee division of the 
Chicago and Northwestern Railway. Presumably for pur- 
poses of real estate development, the electric line took 
over forty acres of land in the Ravinia section of High- 
land Park, constructed an amusement park there, and 
named it Ravinia Park. Except that it was better and 
more artisically built than the vast majority of similar 
enterprises, going in for architecture on the semi-bunga- 
low, semi-country club order, it was like other amusement 
parks, with cafe, band stand, theater, a large grand stand 
facing a lawn of baseball dimensions, merry-go-rounds, 
wheels, and what not. Musically it looked little higher 
than an occasional, casual band concert. 

242 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 243 

But real estate development has its perils, as the 
Chicago and Milwaukee line discovered. Long before the 
lake shore north of Chicago was built up to a sufficient 
extent to make such an enterprise profitable or even 
feasible, the line got into financial difficulties and was 
forced to separate itself from all activities other than 
transportation. Among other extraneous matters thus 
split off was Ravinia Park, which was taken over by a 
group of Chicago and north shore residents. Converting 
the enterprise into a corporation, they elected Louis Eck- 
stein its president and began to cast about for summer 
entertainment. 

For a quite considerable time, concerts, in the after- 
noons and evenings, were the only musical activities. 
Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 
used to go there for part of the summer season; Walter 
Damrosch would bring his New York Symphony Orches- 
tra for another part; occasionally the Minneapolis Sym- 
phony Orchestra would pay a visit, or one and another 
of the concert bands of that period would fill in a few 
weeks. 

In due course, other forms of entertainment began 
to be sought. The dance was popular for some time. 
Joan Sawyer and her partner, pioneers in exhibition ball- 
room dancing, were there one summer; Rosina Galli and 
Bonfiglio another; Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn — I am 
not attempting to cite these in chronological order — a 
third. Meanwhile Mr. Eckstein had rebuilt the band 
stand, making it the back wall of a stage extending west, 
and had constructed a large pavilion of wood, open on 
three sides, in front of it. 

One summer Ben Greet and his company of dew- 



244 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

steppers came to Ravinia to play Shakespeare in the open 
air. A raised terrace, sodded and edged with shrubbery 
at the left of the pavilion was the stage, and the audience 
sat under the stars facing it. The season opened with "A 
Midsummer Night's Dream," and the orchestra, con- 
ducted by Chevalier N. B. Emanuel, an excellent musi- 
cian, since dead, was placed between the terrace and the 
pavilion to play Mendelssohn's incidental music. 

Unfortunately the weather turned bitterly cold that 
night, as Chicago's weather sometimes does in early 
summer. The only one who looked entirely happy during 
the performance was George Vivian, in the part of Puck, 
and he was called upon to turn handsprings a good part 
of his time on the stage. If you looked around to the field 
behind the stage, you could have seen a bevy of fairies 
doing foot races up and down in the moonlight in an 
effort to keep warm. Meanwhile we in the audience, with 
no chance at such diversions, turned up our coat collars 
and tried to forget our numbing fingers and toes. At that, 
it was an entertaining performance, and, matters of tem- 
perature apart, one of the most enjoyable of that play 
I ever witnessed. 

Finally Mr. Eckstein's attention began to be di- 
rected toward opera. It was experimental and tentative 
at first. There was no intention of barging into the pic- 
ture with a fully organized company and more than a 
chance of an enormous loss. Mr. Eckstein has always had 
considerable respect for public demand as an indicator for 
public entertainment, and while he has never run Ravinia 
at a profit — on the contrary, his balance sheet has always 
shown something far removed from a profit — at the same 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 245 

time he could see no reason for making too rash a gesture 
in the beginning. 

So at first only a few singers were engaged, and they 
did no more than to present a single act of opera on cer- 
tain evenings of the week. The public showed every sign 
of approving the move, and the next season there were 
more singers and more acts. Before long there were full 
evenings of opera, and concert programs began to lessen 
and operatic evenings to increase. 

Almost before we in Chicago realized it, so modest 
and unostentatious had been the beginnings, Ravinia had 
burst into full and astonishing operatic florescence. 
Almost without knowing it, a major opera company had 
developed under our eyes. The little stage which was once 
the front of a band stand was being peopled with the fore- 
most artists of the world; performances began to take 
on as their normal course an intensity and beauty such as 
you would find only occasionally in the foremost opera 
houses of the world. Suddenly Chicago began to be talked 
about in America and Europe not only for its winter 
opera at the Auditorium but for its summer opera at 
Ravinia. 

This is not in the least an exaggeration. Mr. Eck- 
stein makes a practice of engaging the most famous 
artists in the most lavish manner. More than that, he has 
frequently taken brilliant singers when they were not well 
known and added to their repertoires until they became 
very well known indeed. Claudia Muzio was a highly ap- 
plauded figure at Ravinia before she was considered more 
than just one of the sopranos at the Metropolitan, be- 
fore she had ever been heard in South America, and long 
before she was engaged at Chicago. Edith Mason's 



246 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

ideally lovely voice rang from the Ravinia stage for sea- 
sons before the Chicago Company took her. Antonio 
Scotti came there for two seasons and appeared, among 
other pieces, in "L'Oracolo," the only times that lurid 
work was ever done in the neighborhood of Chicago. 
"Boris Godunoff" was heard at Ravinia before it was 
heard in Chicago. "La Vida Breve," with the bewitching 
Lucrezia Bori in its principal role, was a signal success at 
Ravinia, and has never been heard in Chicago. No later 
than the summer of 1928, Mr. Eckstein presented 
Leroux's comic opera, "Marouf," which they refer to in 
Paris as "the last smile of French music before the war." 
What is more, he made of it the success that it is in Paris 
and not the failure that it was at the Metropolitan. 

It is submitted that a company containing, as the 
1928 company did, the names of Elisabeth Rethberg, 
Yvonne Gall, Florence Easton, Florence Macbeth, Julia 
Claussen, Ina Bourskaya, Edward Johnson, Giovanni 
Martinelli, Tito Schipa, Mario Chamlee, Armand Tokat- 
yan, Giuseppe Danise, Mario Basiola, Desire Defrere, 
Leon Rothier, Virgilio Lazzari, Louis D'Angelo and 
Vittorio Trevisan, not to mention a considerable number 
of those who appeared in less important capacities, has 
gone a marked distance beneath the surface of opera 
giving. Such names are to be treated by no means casu- 
ally. In addition to all this richness of artists, Miss Bori 
had been engaged and announced, but at a late date ill 
health forced her to cancel her appearances and go to a 
sanitarium in Italy for the summer. 

The chorus, forty in number, are selected from the 
best choristers of both the Chicago and Metropolitan 
companies. The orchestra, about fifty, has from the be- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 247 

ginning been taken from the Chicago Symphony Orches- 
tra, always including the first desk men, and it is rated as 
fine an operatic orchestra in the summer as it is a sym- 
phonic organization in the winter. For a number of sea- 
sons Gennaro Papi and Louis Hasselmans have divided 
the task of operatic conducting, and more recently Eric 
De Lamarter has taken over the concert programs, in 
all cases with the highest credit to themselves and the 
organization. 

In speaking in as high terms of the Ravinia perform- 
ances as has been done here, a slight definition is neces- 
sary. There are some limitations of time and space. Of 
time, because a comfortable section of the Ravinia 
patronage is brought there and taken home by steam and 
electric trains, and these, though specials, necessarily run 
on schedules. Wherefore it is necessary to time the per- 
formances, ending them, as closely as may be, at eleven 
o'clock at night. Some of the longer operas must therefore 
be cut. "Carmen" must submit itself to the surgery of 
becoming a three-act version, "Lohengrin" of two. It is 
curious to find, however, how many works are capable 
of being given complete, or at the most with very trifling 
excisions, if other delays are corrected. Some time when 
you find you are being held to untoward hours in a per- 
formance of winter opera, try timing the intermissions, 
and you will be more than likely to find that they are 
responsible for a good part of the length. 

As to space, Ravinia has not gone in for grandiose 
dimensions. The stage is of medium size, the pavilion, 
all on one plane, seats about 1,800 patrons. Highly com- 
plex and elaborate stage spectacles are not practicable 
there, and are not attempted, though with skilled stage 



248 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

management and lighting, some astonishingly attractive 
stage pictures are composed every year. 

In other respects, however, Ravinia's moderate 
dimensions become a positive advantage. There are many 
operas which gain by being performed at close range and 
which lose much of their charm in the vast distances of 
huge opera houses. In fact this applies to nearly every- 
thing except specially designed spectacles. The old come- 
dies, "The Barber of Seville," "Fra Diavolo," "Don 
Pasquale," "The Elixir of Love," gain much by intimacy, 
so do the Puccini works with the possible exception of 
"Turandot," so do a good many others. For one thing, 
many of them were planned and written for auditoriums 
not of the greatest size, and their inflation for the larger 
houses does away with some of their magnetism. One can 
be certain that there are two reasons for the success of 
"Marouf" at Ravinia over its failure at the Metropolitan. 
One was its greatly superior cast — Mario Chamlee and 
Yvonne Gall were unbelievably amusing and attractive. 
The other was that the performance could be given at 
close range. 

In one of his visits to Ravinia Otto H. Kahn once 
made a speech to the audience in the course of which he 
declared that if Ravinia were plucked up from where it is 
and set down somewhere in central Europe, people would 
make pilgrimages from all over the civilized world to 
visit it. As a matter of fact, they come near to doing that 
now. The greater part of the patronage is naturally from 
Chicago and the north shore, brought there by steam, 
electricity, automobile, and on foot. But many come from 
great distances. If you examine the license tags on the 
cars parked in the fields during the course of a season, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 249 

you will find representatives of every state in the union 
and several of the Canadian provinces. Tourists from 
everywhere, native and foreign, make a visit there, and 
having made one, make others. 

It is the least formal of any operatic center, which 
is one of the reasons for its abiding charm. On popular 
nights there may be as many patrons outside the pavilion 
as in it. The entire structure being of wood, impossible 
in a city because of fire ordinances, but entirely prac- 
ticable in the country, gives the musical tone a suave, mel- 
low and astonishingly carrying quality. I, myself, have 
heard the sound of the orchestra and the singers' voices, 
when conditions were favorable, at a distance more than 
a mile from the stage. 

It has the potent achievements of fine art; it has the 
informal, comfortable atmosphere of a country club; it 
competes with no other operatic institution on earth. This 
has been Louis Eckstein's contribution to the musical art 
of America. How great a contribution it is, people are 
just beginning to realize. 



CHAPTER XXV 

Chicago was now, beginning with the 1922-23 sea- 
son, to witness the beginning of an operatic phase which, 
looking back at it seven years later, can only with dif- 
ficulty be described by another word than romance. It 
was the romance of business, certainly, but business has 
its imaginative dreams, its flashes of foresight, and it has 
a most satisfying habit of making its dreams come true. 
The dream of Mr. Insull and his associates in this case 
was to put the opera company on what seems to have 
worked out as an unshakably permanent basis, to move 
it into a magnificent new home of its own, and to provide 
it with funds for operation which should last through 
many generations to come. How this dream became a 
living reality is now to be told in somewhat more detail 
than can be compressed into a paragraph. 

It did not come in a moment nor in a season. In 
fact, in the beginning it looked like a task to daunt any 
but the most incurable of optimists. Just consider for a 
moment what the new Chicago Civic Opera company 
was confronting. Ever since 19 10 the opera had been 
running along more or less as merely an expensive amuse- 
ment, more or less at haphazard as far as permanent 
existence was concerned. It had culminated in the mag- 
nificent, smashing ruin of the season before. 

Worse, there was a fairly widespread public opinion 
that opera could hardly be anything more than an ex- 

250 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 2£I 

pensive amusement running at haphazard. In a few- 
words, the job of the new organization was to pick up 
the pieces of the old company and then convince the 
public that they would stay picked up and in place. Any 
one who believes that this is not a job of large dimensions 
is welcome to stay in his illusions and cherish them. 

At any rate, here was a goal, and the new company 
began to move toward it. Possibly the progress was not 
altogether steady. Some steps were taken that had to 
be retraced; some experiments were tried and then dis- 
carded. But the end of each season began to mark an 
advance over the season before. In the end there was 
something for the world to pause and marvel over. 

The company was therefore reorganized into its third 
corporate manifestation, the Chicago Civic Opera com- 
pany, and its proponents quietly but firmly announced 
that hereafter opera would be run on a businesslike basis. 
This in itself was something of a shock to those who had 
been in the habit of observing opera from the outside. 
Hammerstein in the height of his glory used to proclaim 
loudly that opera was not a business but a disease. Here 
was a group of Chicago business men, entirely in the 
habit of keeping their heads in moments of emotional 
stress, who were proposing to run it like any other big 
undertaking, not for profit and not for aggrandizement, 
but solely with the idea of putting it on its own feet and 
thereby doing something for Chicago. And the only 
comment that need be made upon this revolutionary idea 
is that it worked. 

The first task was to complete the guaranty fund, 
and this was accomplished with signal success. A high 
pressure, intensive drive was put on, directed and oper- 



252 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

ated by men who know how to run such campaigns, and 
by summer it was officially told that the complete fund 
of $500,000 a year for a period of five years had been 
signed. In fact the figures added to $525,000, since the 
directors figured that in a period of five years a certain 
number of guarantors would probably die, move away 
from Chicago, become insolvent, or in various other ways 
turn into difficult collections, and that a margin over and 
above the exact amount would be desirable. 

In order to reach the goal, it became necessary to 
modify the original plan of the guaranty. Instead of lin- 
ing up 500 or 525 individuals, each with a set liability of 
$1,000, lesser sums were accepted, and consequently the 
number of guarantors increased. Some signed for $500, 
some for $100, some for smaller amounts. Consequently 
the number of guarantors last reported in the season of 
1928 ran to over 3,000. 

With nothing but a business organization perfected, 
the next step was to form the artistic organization. Here 
business foresight decreed that there must never again be 
such losses as had occurred on the season just closed. In 
order to prevent them, orders went out that a budget as 
complete as studied foresight could make it was to be put 
together, and that it was to be adhered to. Among other 
things, this meant that fewer artists were to be engaged, 
and that the day of fantastic salaries was past. 

What is a high fee for an artist and what is a low 
one is always a matter of debate. Like a good many 
other questions of costs and rewards, including the ques- 
tion of opera in its own tongue versus the translated 
article, it is regulated to a great extent by public demand. 
The artist whom the public wants to hear is always the 




Claudia Muzio 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 253 

one to draw the high fee. A saying was attributed to 
Gatti-Casazza some years ago, still a good basis for 
discussion, that the best of the artists, considered purely 
as operatic singers, should not command more than $500 
a performance, that whatever they actually commanded 
in excess of that sum should be estimated in terms of 
drawing power, that is, of the box office. On that basis, 
he added, Caruso was his cheapest artist, cheap no mat- 
ter how much he demanded, for every time that Caruso 
was announced, the house was sold out to complete 
capacity. 

On that basis, too, Miss Garden has always been 
one of the Chicago company's cheap artists, for her popu- 
larity began with her first performance in 19 10 and has 
continued practically without break to the present day. 
So, too, was Tetrazzini cheap in the old days, so was 
Ruffo when he first came to this country, so was Galli- 
Curci during her period with the Chicago opera. But 
Muratore, as Campanini had proclaimed, was "expensif," 
and there were many others who were "expensif" in the 
same way. 

So Mr. Polacco, musical director, and Mr. Shaw, 
business manager — hereafter there was to be no general 
director — applied themselves to the task of assembling 
an artistic personnel for the Civic Opera out of the ruins 
of the dismantled Chicago Opera Association. In a good 
many cases the task was merely the formal one of lining 
the artists up to put down their names on a new contract. 
But some objected strenuously to accepting a salary cut 
and refused to return, some were not wanted under any 
circumstances, and still others stayed away for other 
reasons. 



254 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

To balance matters, Claudia Muzio, soprano, was 
signed by the Chicago company away from the Metro- 
politan. This was a brisk maneuver, for she signed her 
contract in the stateroom of her European steamship less 
than half an hour before sailing time. Some other notable 
artists were engaged about the same period, among them 
Richard Hageman and Ettore Panizza, conductors, and 
Adolph Bolm, ballet master and leading dancer. 

Louise Homer, greatly popular American contralto, 
was engaged for a few special performances, Ina Bour- 
skaya became a regular member of the company, and it 
was announced that Feodor Chaliapin, not so long before 
freed from the restrictions and poverty of artistic life 
under the Soviet regime, would appear in "Mefistofele." 

Just before the Civic Opera Company started its 
season it received notice from the Treasury Department 
in Washington that it need no longer charge the custom- 
ary 10 per cent war tax on its tickets. It was the first 
organization in the country to be thus exempted, the basis 
of the ruling being that the company was educational and 
not for profit. There were plenty of Chicagoans willing to 
agree with the latter part of the statement. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

"Aida," in four acts and seven scenes; libretto by 
Antonio Ghislanzoni, music by Giuseppe Verdi ; 
presented at the Auditorium, Nov. 13, 1922. The 
cast: 

The King of Egypt. .Edouard Cotreuil 
Amneris, his daughter. Ina Bourskaya (debut) 
Radames, captain of 

the guard Charles Marshall 

Aida, an Ethiopian 

slave Rosa Raisa 

Ramfis, high priest. . . .Virgilio Lazzari 
Amonasro, king of 

Ethiopa Cesare Formichi (debut) 

Priestess Melvena Passmore (debut) 

Incidental dances by Anna Ludmila, Konstantin 
Kobeleff, Amata Grassi, Franklin Crawford, Jean 
D'Evelyn, and corps de ballet. 

Conductor Giorgio Polacco 

Stage Director Emile Merle-Forest 

Ballet Master Adolph Bolm 

Just as twelve years before Chicago's resident com- 
pany had begun operations with a performance of 
"Aida," so did the new Civic Opera Company. In fact 
there those who say that no opera season anywhere in 
the United States should ever begin with anything but 
"Aida." It is a great opening bill, to be sure, calling for 

255 



256 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

fine voices, full of noble music, scenic effects, proces- 
sionals, ballet, pomp and circumstance generally. Curi- 
ously, opera companies in general seem to feel that it 
is something of a reproach to inaugurate their seasons 
with it. But on at least two specially notable occasions, 
the Chicago company did. 

And as twelve years before Mary Garden had sung 
in the second performance of the season, so she did here. 
This time, however, instead of appearing as Melisande, 
she took the title part of "Carmen," to the Don Jose 
of Riccardo Martin, and the Escamillo of Georges 
Baklanoff, with Richard Hageman making his debut in 
the pit as associate musical director of the company. 

There were some unusual features about the open- 
ing of this season, among them the fact that the whole 
first week went with signal success. It is by no means 
uncommon for a season to begin with a brilliant first 
night and then go into a nose-dive, for a night or two 
later, but this one kept up the brilliancy. For on the 
third night Edith Mason as Mimi and Irene Pavloska as 
Musetta lifted "La Boheme" to altogether unusual 
heights, and Ettore Panizza showed his own marked gifts 
as a conductor. 

Then came "Sniegurotchka," otherwise known as 
"Snow Maiden," by Rimsky-Korsakoff. It had been in 
the repertoire of the touring Russian company, with 
Bourskaya as Lehl, a part that she took in this perform- 
ance. But the Chicago production was something quite 
different. Nicolas Roerich had made a complete set of 
unconventional and gorgeous scenery and costumes, Bolm 
and Ludmila led the ballet, Hageman conducted. 

"Sniegurotchka" became the striking success of the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 257 

season, artistically and financially, a position that it never 
came within miles of hitting again in seasons to come, 
though after painstaking revivals, and even a revival in 
English. I have always believed that Mr. Hageman had a 
good deal to do with its success this season, for he car- 
ried along the performance with a pace and color 
that no other conductor ever equaled. Mason, Pavloska, 
Minghetti, Baklanoff, and a host of lesser principals were 
in the cast. 

Then on Saturday afternoon Miss Garden appeared 
as Fiora in "L'Amore dei Tre Re," with Crimi, Bak- 
lanoff, and Lazzari as the men, and on Saturday night 
Raisa, Claessens, Lamont and Rimini ended the week 
with "The Jewels of the Madonna." It was truly a bril- 
liant week, and the only word of dispraise spoken in my 
presence was for Crimi's Avito in "L'Amore dei Tre Re." 

"God gave him his legs," said an irreverent feminine 
onlooker, "but who gave him that petticoat?" And a man 
who witnessed the impassioned love scene of the second 
act between Crimi and Miss Garden pronounced after 
due thought his opinion that the piece ought to be re- 
named "She Who Gets Bit." 

This season was the first to see an attempt 
to broadcast the opera. There was a great deal that was 
not known about the theory and practice of broadcasting 
in those days, in fact, notable improvements have been 
occurring at an average rate of about one a week ever 
since. But they made their first efforts then, thereby 
starting the still unsettled discussion on how music is 
going to be affected by the radio, whether people will 
pay money for tickets when they can hear music by 
switching it on at their own homes, whether it is going 



258 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

to be worth while for any one outside of the chosen radio 
few to go in for a career of music, and so on. People are 
still asking the same questions and waiting for the an- 
swers. One of the answers, which up to date is still true, 
is that a notable musician can generally make a good liv- 
ing and a mediocre one generally has a hard time, and 
this was true before ever an antenna was raised. 

Mme. Louise Homer came to the company as guest- 
artist and started the house cheering with what she did as 
Azucena in "II Trovatore." The same opera took on an- 
other unexpected bit of interest in another part be- 
cause the stage manager got his cues crossed and Con- 
ductor Polacco had to play one introduction three times 
before Giacomo Rimini heard it and got to the stage. 
Mme. Bourskaya made another hit in the name part of 
"Carmen," but as this was classified at that time as one 
of the "Garden roles," she for a none too unobvious 
reason was not encouraged to sing it often. The "Tiger 
of France," Georges Clemenceau, the aged war premier of 
France, visiting Chicago, also visited the opera, a per- 
formance of "Sniegurotchka" on November 29, and the 
curtains were drawn after one act while the chorus lined 
up and Edouard Cotreuil sang the "Marseillaise" and 
Cyrena Van Gordon "The Star-Spangled Banner." It was 
a coincidence of time that just about this date the manage- 
ment began to complain about attendance at German 
opera. 

For under the new system of opera giving, it was 
found that an extremely sensitive operatic nerve ran into 
and through the box office. Works that did not draw were 
speedily packed away. "Parsifal," even with the brilliant 
performance of Joseph Schwarz as Amfortas, drew two 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 259 

poor houses and went into the discard. "Die Walkure" 
also disappeared in the same manner, and "Tannhauser" 
was taken off the list for the year. 

I shall not attempt here to defend the box office as 
the sole arbiter of what shall be given in an operatic sea- 
son. I can see without difficulty that under such circum- 
stances the repertoire would never grow — it grows far 
too slowly as it is — and that there are certain occasions 
when it is the duty of an opera company to step out into 
an artistic adventure. But this season, with the memories 
of the previous season's appalling losses still fresh in 
memory, the Civic Opera Company was stepping cau- 
tiously, not to say fearfully. 

Claudia Muzio made her debut December 7 in the 
name part of "Aida," and scored the first of the long line 
of hits that attended her performances in the Auditorium. 
"The Girl of the Golden West" was revived with Raisa 
as the Girl and Rimini as the sheriff, and drew more 
money than "Parsifal" had done a few days before. 

Then came Feodor Ivanovitch Chaliapin, to trans- 
form a bit of stage management. It was in Boi'to's 
"Mefistofele." Having come on for a rehearsal of the 
opera, he pronounced himself dissatisfied with it, took 
it all apart and put it together again. 

Will those who saw the performance ever forget it, 
not alone Chaliapin himself, but those surrounding 
him? Who, for instance, can forget the Brocken scene, 
where, after some instruction by the star, the customarily 
placid chorus was suddenly converted into a whirling, 
shrieking, frenzied crew of minor devils on a diabolical 
spree? And over them all sat the giant himself, half nude, 
gloating, flaming, dominating his followers, deriding the 



260 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

world, blazing out in his voice of golden trombone, 
sweeping back the stageful with a wave of the arm. It 
was one of the most magnificent scenes in all the history 
of the Chicago Opera. It was also a pitiless exposure of 
how artificial, how conventional grand opera can be at its 
worst. 

This was by all odds the climax of the season. As a 
matter of fact not a great deal was left to report about 
it. Miss Muzio added "II Trovatore," "Pagliacci," and 
"Tosca" to the "Aida" with which she had begun. Mme. 
Galli-Curci, who about that time was thirsting for the 
acclaim of lyric as well as coloratura parts, sang "La 
Boheme," "Madame Butterfly," and the "Manon" of the 
Massenet version, but they did not remain permanently 
in her repertoire. The most memorable episode of 
"Manon" is that Conductor Hageman, finding himself 
in possession of some frightfully imperfect orchestral 
parts and no conductor's score at all, called an orchestral 
rehearsal with a piano score in front of him and corrected 
the whole set by ear, mistake by mistake, as it was played. 
It took him practically all of one day, but at the end of 
the time the opera company had a set of correct and play- 
able parts. If you do not think that this was something to 
do, try it some day for yourself. 

Oh, yes, and Miss Garden, still continuing to be a 
faithful reader of the newspapers and an estimator of 
their news values, announced and got it printed that 
Emile Coue, he of the "Every day, in every way" formula, 
visiting this country at that time, had cured her of 
bronchial pneumonia, buzzing in the head, little colds, 
irritability, and depression. And the company again tried 
to make friends with American opera with the one-act 




u 




FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 26 1 

piece, "Snow Bird," by Theodore Stearns. Mary Mc- 
Cormic and Charles Marshall sang in it. And Ganna 
Walska, newly married to Harold F. McCormick, ar- 
rived in New York and began announcing that she would 
appear in opera, the first and even now unconfirmed an- 
nouncement having to do with the Russian Opera Com- 
pany. 

The Civic Opera Company's "gala" evening was 
given a new slant from the fact that the company guar- 
antors were the guests of honor. The bill consisted of the 
first act of "Pagliacci," the third act of "Aida," the 
second act of "L'Amore dei Tre Re," the fourth act of 
"Mefistofele" — without Chaliapin — and the second half 
of the third act of "Die Walkure." At the end of the 
"Tre Re" scene Mr. Insull stepped before the footlights 
and announced that the famous French tenor, Fernand 
Ansseau, had been engaged for the next season, and that 
the guarantors, large and small, would kindly be prepared 
to come through with 70 per cent of their guaranties. 

A bit of arithmetic produced the information that 
the call on the guarantors would be $350,000. Final 
figures on the season's losses came to $290,000, as com- 
pared to the $1,100,000 of the season before. With this 
in their ears, the guarantors went home and the company 
packed up and went to Boston instead of New York as 
the first item on its post-Chicago season, a practice which 
it has maintained ever since. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

At one time and another a good deal has been said 
about operatic performances that failed to succeed, new 
productions put on with great and lavish preparation 
which the public refused to admit into its list of favorites. 

This has been in no mood of Nero fiddling over the 
conflagration of Rome. Disasters are not pleasant to 
contemplate at any time. What has been chiefly in mind 
here was to demonstrate by example instead of precept 
what an extremely difficult matter it is to assemble a 
workable and standard operatic repertoire, to point out 
what an opera company must undergo by the method of 
trial and error before it feels safe in confronting its 
public with an efficient list of works. This promptly be- 
came one of the Civic Opera Company's problems. 

Some years ago a strange book made its appearance, 
so out of the ordinary that it has become one of the 
rarities in the book market. It is John Towers' "Dic- 
tionary of Operas." 

John Towers, it would seem, had the instincts of 
a collector. Instead of collecting porcelains or early 
American bottles or postage stamps, however, he devoted 
eighteen years of his life to collecting the names of 
operas. There is no way to account for this labor of 
love, except that it was a manifestation of the collector's 
instinct. Certainly a less commercial enterprise could 
hardly be imagined. 

262 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 263 

At any rate he got it published in the year 19 10 
and, I am informed, died a few years later. Quite a 
number of operas have been written since that time, and 
some of them have managed to become widely and 
favorably known. But Mr. Towers managed to accumu- 
late the almost incredible total of 34,000 names. 

It is a curious book to run through. Both operas and 
operettas are included — the line is sometimes hard to 
draw — but this list has the qualification of being works 
that have been actually performed on the public stage, 
not merely written and put away. 

This does not mean that there were 34,000 com- 
posers by a considerable degree. Without making an 
exact count, it would be safe to estimate about 7,000 
since Monteverde produced "Orfeo" and Peri about the 
same time announced "Eurydice." There is apparently 
something about composing an opera that leads to the 
composing of other operas. Some astonishing figures come 
out of Mr. Towers' book, figures that cause one to 
wonder whether some of these old composers ever did 
anything else but write operas. 

It is the merest commonplace to find men like A. C. 
Adam with 45 operas to his credit, T. Albinoni with 52, 

F. A. Barbieri with 77, and A. Caldara with 82. Think of 
figures like these : J. A. Hasse, 94 ; B. Galuppi, he to whom 
Browning once addressed a poem, 109; N. Piccinni, 145 ; 

G. Paisiello, 123* A. Draghi and P. Guglielmi, 149 each; 
Wenzel Mueller, 166. The British islands have had their 
share in the total. Michael Kelly wrote 56, Charles Dibdin, 
91, and Sir Henry R. Bishop, 102. In spite of such indus- 
try, it is entirely probable that all these operas are dead 
beyond hope of resurrection. 



264 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Some stories were evidently great favorites with 
composers and audiences in former days. We of this era 
know "The Barber of Seville" in Rossini's music and 
"Faust" in Gounod's. But "The Barber" has had fourteen 
other settings, and "Faust" twenty-five. The story of 
Romeo and Juliet under one name or another has been set 
over twenty times, of Cleopatra twenty-six, of Francesca 
da Rimini twenty-three, and Arthur Honegger had four- 
teen predecessors before he wrote "Judith" for Miss 
Garden's use. 

But even these were not the great favorites. One 
finds references to a "Demetrio" with thirty-nine set- 
tings, to a "Demofoonte" with forty-three, to an "Ales- 
sandro nelle Indie" with sixty-four. Did you ever hear 
any of them? Nor did I. 

"The bearings of this observation," remarked Cap- 
tain Bunsby, "lies in the application on it." Since the 
first performance at the Auditorium in 19 10, the Chicago 
company has presented something in the neighborhood 
of 125 or 130 different operas. Of these, some forty or 
fifty can be classified as belonging to the standard reper- 
toire. The annual repertoire consists of between thirty and 
forty. If you are fond of arithmetic, you can figure from 
34,000 down to these figures and see what the mathe- 
matical chances of a new opera are for permanent suc- 
cess. It is not every day or every year that a "Jewels of 
the Madonna" or "Rosenkavalier" is discovered. 

Mr. Insull once remarked that the three most popu- 
lar operas in the Chicago repertoire were "Aida, "La 
Traviata," and "II Trovatore." This statement was 
based upon attendance during the history of the com- 
pany, and the figures are unassailable. They are cited 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 265 

here because in spite of the fact that they are always 
given in their original tongue, Italian, they have a curious 
bearing on the greatly vexed subject of opera in English, 
at least on the subject of having an understandable 
libretto. 

For "Aid a," finest of the festival operas, is all 
pageantry and pompous processional, ballet, resounding 
chorus, brilliant solos, for at least the first half of its 
length. Not until the Nile scene, the third of the opera's 
four acts, does the drama of the piece really begin. Up 
to that time one's attention is taken up with gorgeous 
music and equally gorgeous stage pictures. The dialogue 
makes not the slightest difference. It might be given in 
Chinese and still be as good an opera. 

"La Traviata" presents a dramatic story so plainly 
that it is perfectly obvious. Again the language makes 
no difference, but this time it is because every one can 
tell what is going on. "II Trovatore" has a story so 
complex and full of details that a translation into Eng- 
lish would not be able to clarify it. No one understands 
what is going on — a slightly irritated commentator once 
expressed doubt whether Verdi understood it when he 
made the setting — and no one cares. The full blooded, 
vital, Verdi melodies save it. 

As to opera in English, it has always been up to 
the public. From the beginning, the Chicago Opera Com- 
pany has always given opera in English every chance in 
the world. Time after time an English performance, 
native or translated, has been offered, to be withdrawn 
because the public indicated that opera in English was 
not to its taste. "Natoma" survived thirty performances 
and came the nearest to being a success. But even now 



266 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the management of the company has not lost interest 
in the subject. 

This trial and error method and its successes and 
failures makes a fascinating subject to look back upon, 
though at times it must have been extremely discourag- 
ing to those who had the welfare of the company most 
at heart. Sometimes, as in the case of "Conchita," the 
score would seem to have been a few years in advance 
of public taste, a meritorious work that needed to let 
the world catch up with it. Sometimes a single bad act, 
as in "Francesca da Rimini" left an unfavorable impres- 
sion. Sometimes a single artist became so identified with 
a single work that it was successful only when that artist 
appeared in it. Miss Garden in "Thai's," and Galli-Curci 
in "Lucia di Lammermoor" are cases in point. No one 
but Miss Garden was ever able to make much of a suc- 
cess out of "Thais," and Galli-Curci always drew the 
greatest houses of her Chicago career in "Lucia." 

Her Chicago career ended, by the way, in the 
1923-24 season. Seemingly through bad judgment, she 
permitted herself to become the leading figure in a dis- 
pute with the management over whether she should open 
in "Dinorah" or "Lakme." After the dust had settled, it 
became apparent that she was in the wrong, having 
agreed to "Lakme" long enough in advance for the 
repertoire to be fixed, and then having changed her 
mind. But she made an issue out of it, took it to the 
newspapers, and declaimed that as far as the Civic 
Opera Company was concerned, she was through at the 
end of that season. The Civic Opera Company agreed 
with her. 

There were several other changes in the lineup about 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 267 

this time. Conductor Hageman had left the season be- 
fore; Adolph Bolm and Chaliapin were to disappear 
shortly thereafter; Mr. Johnson returned to the business 
department of the company under the title of assistant to 
the president. As such he was able to relieve Mr. Shaw of 
his duties and labors as business manager and allow him to 
concentrate on his former function as tour manager. 
Soon Mr. Johnson was to become business manager 
technically as well as actually, a position that he has 
held ever since. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

The season of 1922-23 began with "Boris Godu- 
noff," Chaliapin in the name part. It proved, as has been 
proved more conclusively since, that only Chaliapin 
should appear in it. With him, it is a magnificent, thrill- 
ing, stirring epic; without him, it is just another opera, 
more interesting than many of them, it is true, but still, 
just another opera. It is expressly intended for an artist 
of his inches and spiritual ponderosity, and when he ap- 
pears in it, it is transfigured. 

It was about this time that Chaliapin, desirous of 
seeing the operations of a large metropolitan newspaper, 
called at the Tribune office one night and asked to be 
shown through the plant, inquiring, among others, for 
me. I was out at the time, but when I returned, the mes- 
sage taker, whom Frederick Donaghey in the Line o' 
Type used to refer to as Kartoffeln Karon, told me that 
"a big Swede named Charley Appel" had been asking 
for me. Reproved for having mixed up his facts in inac- 
curate and unjournalistic fashion, he answered, "Well, 
what if he is a Russian? All foreigners is Swedes except 
when they're Germans." 

In his autobiography, "Pages From My Life," 
Chaliapin speaks of this incident. He says: 

"My manager took me to visit a certain Chicago 
newspaper office. The representative of the paper, who 
greeted us in shirt sleeves and trousers, appeared very 
much embarrassed. 

268 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 269 

11 'Pleased to meet you,' he stammered. 'Didn't you 
come from Czecho-Slovakia? What do you do, and how 
did you happen to come here?' 

"My manager appeared most upset, probably be- 
cause he had informed me that this celebrated paper 
very much wished to make my acquaintance. 

" 'Pardon me,' I answered. "I am not from Czecho- 
slovakia, but from Russia! And,' I think I continued in 
a soprano voice, 'I sing.' 

" 'Oh!' was the reply. 'In which operas?' 

"To save the situation my manager hurriedly stated 
that M. Chaliapin was very much interested in Ameri- 
can newspapers, whereupon the gentleman, becoming ex- 
ceedingly amiable, showed us through the building and 
revealed several secrets of the art of printing." 

He refers to another event in his Chicago engage- 
ment, one in which the newspapers printed an account 
of a supposed row that he had had during a rehearsal. 
His own explanation is that he was explaining to another 
member of the cast (Jose Mojica) what should take 
place in the scene between him and Shouisky in "Boris 
Godunoff," and explaining the dramatic action with loud 
language and gestures. From this it was concluded that 
he was having trouble, and the report was spread wide. 

Because of these and a few similar occurrences, he 
says that he is obliged to conclude that Chicago news- 
papers have a special psychology. He also promises to 
discuss his Chicago engagement more at length in an- 
other book that he hopes to write sometime. 

A gesture was extended to the Chicago Symphony 
Orchestra by asking Frederick Stock to rehearse and con- 
duct a performance of "Siegfried." Mr. Stock is without 



27O FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

doubt one of the finest Wagnerian conductors who ever 
stepped into the Auditorium pit. Among his other 
achievements, he cut a full hour out of the ordinary run- 
ning time of the piece in such an expert fashion that not 
the slightest dramatic or harmonic break could be dis- 
covered anywhere, and he conducted the performance 
with the same masterly expression that make his Wag- 
nerian performances high spots of the symphony season. 

But more than a master conductor was needed to 
save "Siegfried." From a popular standpoint it is the 
least interesting of the four works that make up the 
"Ring des Nibelungen." One reason is that not until the 
final scene, a short one, does the appearance of Briinn- 
hilde make a break in the constant succession of men's 
voices, for the remarks of the concealed bird in the forest 
scene are too brief to make a contrast. 

Another performance, and "Siegfried" went into 
the discard. 

Curious changes occurred all through this season. 
"Sniegurotchka" was revived, but Mme. Bourskaya as 
Lehl and Conductor Hageman had departed, and with 
them the fervor that they put into the performance. 
It was astonishing to be there and note the difference, 
for the opera suddenly became respectable and dull, and 
the audience stayed away in great numbers. 

On the other hand, Charles Hackett joined the com- 
pany, and his debut performance of "Romeo and Juliet" 
with Edith Mason became a bit of new life. Here were 
two stars, and there were two more when Rosa Raisa 
and Charles Marshall went on in "La Juive," sung in 
Italian. The latter's serviceable tunes, plentifully dealt 
out to every member of the cast, promptly became greatly 














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FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 27 1 

popular. As much could not be said, however, for the 
Crimi-Raisa, afterwards Marshall-Raisa, performance of 
"L'Africaine," another French work also sung in Italian. 
It never quite clicked with the public, in spite of a large 
assortment of tunes of the same general order. 

Adolph Bolm was doing no end of fine work that 
season. For the ballet music of "L'Africaine," a triumph 
of uninspired mediocrity, he transcribed an actual dance 
of India, wherein he appeared in a devil-mask as the 
spirit of evil whose onslaughts were repelled by the 
priestess of the temple, assumed by Anna Ludmila. In 
"Lakme," he told another story of the orient, the Hindu 
equivalent of the Greek myth, the musical contest between 
Apollo and Marsyas, transferred to terms of the dance. 
In "Ai'da" he vitalized a collection of Egyptian frescoes; 
in "Samson and Delilah" the dance in the temple became 
a whirling, throbbing bacchanale. 

Never before, except a few years previous when Bolm 
had come on to stage and appear in John Alden Car- 
penter's ballet, "The Birthday of the Infanta," had the 
Chicago Opera been given such fine, sincere, superb art 
in its ballet department. Never since has it come within 
miles of touching that level. But this was Bolm's final 
year with the company. Meanwhile the department be- 
hind the curtain whose duty it was to decorate the stage 
used to fill up the furnishings of the second act of "La 
Juive" with large busts in placid disregard of the rule 
against graven images in orthodox Jewish homes. They 
learned better afterwards, but it took years before they 
were convinced. 

Claudia Muzio scored highly with Fernand Ansseau 
and BaklanofI in "Monna Vanna," and with Giulio Crimi 



272 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

and Cesare Formichi in "La Forza del Destino," two 
works in which performances far outran musical values. 
Galli-Curci sang through her final engagement to what 
was even for her unexampled applause — by the way, 
Schipa was ill at the beginning, and the tenor part of 
"Lakme," over which the row arose, was sung by Ralph 
Errolle. 

Cyrena Van Gordon was awarded a verdict of 
$15,000 for personal injuries received two years before, 
when an automobile in which she was riding was struck 
by a street car. 

An item published about this time shows that the 
working force of the opera company comprised an aver- 
age of 500 persons. There were fifty-two principals, a 
chorus of eighty, an orchestra of seventy, a ballet of 
thirty-five. On the producing staff there were twenty-one 
electricians, twenty wardrobe workers, four armorers, 
eight carpenters, and twenty men handling properties. 
Ten artists made new scenes and refurbished the old, two 
stage crews, of seven by day and eleven by night, with 
ten extras, erected them for the operas. Day and night 
crews in the storehouse accounted for thirty-two. Eight 
conductors and assistants prepared and directed the musi- 
cal parts of the performances after the scenery had been 
moved from the storehouse and set up on the stage. The 
house employees numbered one hundred, seventy-five be- 
ing ushers, door men, carriage men and maids, ten check- 
room men, and fifteen janitors of day and night service. 
Eighteen were employed by the administrative staff, 
mostly clerk and stenographic help. 

Miss Garden returned at Christmas time to do 
"Louise" as she alone could do it, with Ansseau, Bak- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 273 

lanoff, and Maria Claessens to round out a notable 
quartet. Then came another saddening episode, Claire 
Dux in "Konigskinder." 

An exquisite artist in an exquisite opera, but once 
again one person was required to carry almost all the 
burden. For while some in the long cast knew their parts, 
others were unfamiliar with the opera and even with 
German, there was a tenor who sang into the wings in- 
stead of to the audience, and everywhere there was evi- 
dence of restraint and discomfort. Even at the final 
rehearsal Miss Dux had been seen instructing some of 
the cast in such primary bits of "business" as where to 
stand on the stage. They did not know and there was 
no one to tell them. So a beautiful opera failed of its 
effect and an extraordinary artist was not given full 
chance to prove how good she was. The best are helped 
by proper support and hampered by its lack, and the best 
know it. Joseph Schwarz, arriving in Chicago on the heels 
of this performance, delivered himself of a few operatic 
maxims, none ever truer. 

"Opera can be judged only by the success or failure 
of its ensemble," he said. "To achieve success in opera 
individually, you must become one of the ensemble. To- 
gether, everything is possible. Alone, nothing." 

Mr. Shaw completed his plans for the spring tour 
of the company, and as its itinerary is a fair sample in 
space and time of what has become the normal, annual 
course of events, it can be itemized here. From Chicago 
the company was booked in Boston for two weeks. Then, 
becoming in every sense of the word a touring organi- 
zation, it visited Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincin- 
nati, Chattanooga, Tulsa, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, 



2 74 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, 
Wichita, and closed in Kansas City, a jaunt of some 
10,000 miles. 

In spite of operatic optimists who preach the doc- 
trine of opera for opera's sake, the cities of the tour 
insist upon having stars. In Boston, where the company 
is in the habit of staying two weeks and giving sixteen 
performances, sixteen different operas are presented, but 
the road tour proper means presentation of a few works 
for a few notables. In this case "Boris" and "Mefistofele" 
were carried for the use of Chaliapin, Edith Mason 
appearing with him in the second, "La Juive" for Raisa 
and Marshall, and "Cleopatra" for Garden. 

The expense of such a tour runs into impressive 
amounts of money. When all costs are added together, 
they are not far from $1,000,000 a year. At the same 
time, the risk to the company is almost nothing, in fact 
it generally pays its own way. This is because every road 
engagement is guaranteed. Months before the arrival 
of the company a group of residents in each city is formed 
into a committee of underwriters, each making himself 
liable for a certain sum, the total $15,000 or so for each 
performance. It has been found by experience that a 
large committee liable for small individual amounts is 
better, because the larger the group, the more individuals 
interested in making the engagement a success, and the 
more general effort to make it a success. Frequently, one 
may say generally, public interest is stirred up to the 
extent that the intake renders it unnecessary to make 
a demand upon the underwriters. Sometimes they even 
make a profit, which is generally put into the bank as a 
nest egg for the next season's engagement. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 275 

When there is a loss, the underwriters are called 
upon for a percentage of their guaranties sufficient to 
clear the account. What happens then depends a good 
deal upon the varying phenomena of human nature. It 
is by no means incredible that a man who has suffered 
a loss for such a reason one year should decline to run 
the risk again, but there have been plenty of cases where 
losses were met cheerfully with a request for another 
chance. Sometimes the guarantors grow indignant over 
the public spirit of their communities, and insist upon 
being given the opportunity to stir it up. 

In any case the company brings back newspaper 
clippings to be measured not by the yard, but almost by 
the rod and furlong. And so from coast to coast Chicago 
is advertised every year not only as a commercial center 
but as the home of one of the leading opera companies. 

It is interesting to discover what can be learned 
about costs from a good accountant. One of the virtues 
of the Civic Opera Company has always been that while 
it seldom makes public exact figures, it does enough for 
those with a taste for arithmetic to make some estimates 
of their own. More than that, it clarifies many ideas. 

Opera admittedly always runs at a deficit. One of 
the most popular conceptions is that this is caused by 
the fees paid to famous artists. The man on the street 
hears of fees — cachets is the operatic slang for the word 
— of $1,500 to $3,500 a performance, and comes to the 
conclusion that if some way could be devised to abolish 
them, opera would pay its own way. 

But this conception is a misconception. For one 
thing, if famous artists did not appear, neither would 
audiences. For another, it is not true. The Civic Opera 



276 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Company sent out figures about the previous season, its 
first, showing that if all fees paid to all principals had 
been abolished, there would have been a deficit anyway. 
It told how for every dollar taken in, $1,547 had 
been spent. That, taken in connection with the call of 
of $350,000 upon Chicago guarantors, indicates that 
the cost of the Chicago season had been in the neigh- 
borhood of $1,200,000. Then it began to itemize its 
expenses in decimal points and small fractions. Each 
dollar spent had been cut up into pieces and paid out 
in this fashion : 

Miscellaneous expense $.0523 

Rehearsal expense 0735 

Publicity, administration, etc 0928 

Repairs to scenery, costumes, etc 1568 

Theatre, warehousing, etc 2025 

Musical staff, orchestra, chorus, ballet, stage hands .2025 
Artists 2196 

Add them up and they make an exact dollar. The 
item for artists is the largest, but it is not as large as 
had been supposed. 

Interesting visitors always come to the opera. One 
of them was Mme. Eleanora Duse, the famous Italian 
actress. She was playing some matinee performances at 
the Auditorium that season, and occasionally came to 
the opera in the evening. Depressed and in bad health, 
she saw few callers, but she became fast friends with 
Galli-Curci. 

"I gave away all my money during the war," she 
told her, "and I must act. I have to fight to do it. Each 
time I go on the stage I say, 'God, help me through this 
and I'll never ask anything else.' " 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 277 

But the effort was too much for even that brave 
spirit. She died later in the season. 

The operatic deficit was $325,000, so Mr. Insull 
told the guarantors, and each was assessed 65 per cent 
instead of the 70 per cent of the year before. He added 
some figures. 

Costs were greater and operas more numerous, but 
attendance had improved. The season had been extended 
from ten to eleven and one-half weeks. Ninety-one per- 
formances of thirty-five operas had been given as against 
seventy-two of twenty-five operas the year before, and 
attendance had averaged 84 per cent of the total capacity 
of the theater. In figures, the receipts had been $910,123, 
which was 74 per cent of the financial capacity of the 
house, as against $757,000 the year before. Even the 
losses of the season before had been cut. His first esti- 
mate of 80 per cent on the guarantors had been reduced 
to 70 per cent. 

It began to look rather cheerful. The public was 
learning to come to the opera. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Vers libre advertising in flights of high-powered 
imagination is the first thing one notices in the season 
of 1924-25. Here are a few specimens, taken at random 
from newspaper columns of the period. No comment can 
be more eloquent than the poems themselves. 

If You Wish to See Fired 
Opals Lit With the 
Erubescence of Rubies in 
Jeweled Sounds of Song 
Come Tonight and Hear 

LUCIA. 

Your Last Chance to See 
And Hear This Cingalese 
Love Affair Under Alluring 
Oriental Skies — Tonight — 
The Pearl Fishers. 

"The Little Mother" 
on Life's Highway 
'Twixt Duty and Love 
Is the Lyric Drama 
of Werther — Tonight. 

In the presence of something so closely approaching 

perfection, a Mona Lisa, a Venus de Milo, a Lake 

Louise of advertising copy, one makes no comments. 

One stands in speechless awe — and turns to the actual 

proceedings of the season. 

278 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 279 

There were quite a number of debuts that year: 
two conductors, Roberto Moranzoni and Henry G. 
Weber; two sopranos, Olga Forrai and Toti Dal Monte; 
two mezzo-sopranos, Flora Perini and Augusta Lenska; 
a tenor, Antonio Cortis; a baritone, Mario Stabile. Only 
two of these newcomers, Moranzoni and Cortis, are still 
members of the organization at the end of the period 
covered by this volume. 

There were also a number of revivals and exhuma- 
tions from ancient operatic literature. The season began 
Wednesday, November 5, with the time-honored "La 
Gioconda," rated second only to "Aida" as a meritorious 
opening bill in the United States. It was sung by Raisa, 
Perini, Meisle, Cortis, Formichi and Kipnis, with Polacco 
conducting, a notable cast capable of extracting all the 
juice from the score. The next night came "Tosca," with 
Muzio and Hackett, Stabile as Scarpia and Moranzoni 
at the baton making their first appearances in Chicago. 
So far there was enough success to justify the anticipa- 
tions of those who had the interests of the company 
most at heart. 

But then came "The Prophet," "Le Prophete," if 
you belong among those who insist upon opera in a 
foreign tongue, and as must so frequently be recorded 
in these pages, it died with great suddenness and great 
thoroughness. Even the superb performance of Mme. 
Louise Homer, back again for some guest appearances, 
was not enough to delay its demise. 

One of the least explicable items in the business of 
opera giving is that of success one time and failure 
another. It is something that lies close to the hearts of 
operatic givers, because a failure is expensive and not 



2 80 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

to be regarded with joy. Campanini a few years before 
had put on "Le Prophete" with a good deal of manner 
and made a success out of it. This time the former spirit 
was lacking and people refused to come. Or perhaps 
the order of the last sentence should be reversed. Peo- 
ple refused to come and the former spirit was lacking. 

"The Pearl Fishers" was kept alive for a time, more 
by the fine singing of Graziella Pareto and Charles 
Hackett than by its own merits. For Bizet when he com- 
posed this score was only a mild, not to say feeble fore- 
runner of what he was when he wrote "Carmen." Mme. 
Pareto, a good looking, mannerly artist, was possessed 
of a slender but lovely soprano voice, and excelled in 
works calling for a voice of this nature. 

First place in florid singing, however, was speedily 
captured by Toti Dal Monte. Here was a case where 
expert execution compensated for everything else. Dal 
Monte was a strange little figure, with head set squarely 
between two broad shoulders, and with altogether too 
much displacement for her very moderate height. She 
never attempted or pretended to be anything of an actress. 
But when she set her heels together and rippled through 
the cascades of the Mad Scene in "Lucia di Lammer- 
moor," the house rose to her and called her a great 
woman. 

Olga Forrai was announced to debut as Elisabeth 
in "Tannhauser," but she was not ready in the part, and 
Rosa Raisa got up in it after having left it alone for 
three years. She always disliked and distrusted Ger- 
man opera for her own use, and did as little of it as 
possible, and the world is the loser, for there are parts 
in the German repertoire which, had she chosen, she 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 28 1 

could have made her own. with few to contest her place. 

Forrai was in many ways the reverse of Dal Monte, 
a good looking, stage-wise woman who was far from 
being a perfect singer. Her good looks and her stage 
wisdom stood her in great part when she finally got 
around to singing Octavian in "Der Rosenkavalier," but 
this was later. If memory is correct, she made her debut 
as Nedda in "Pagliacci." At any rate it was as Nedda 
that one vivid recollection of the season remains. Follow- 
ing the "Ballatella" and the use of the whip upon Tonio, 
Silvio entered crying "Nedda" in accordance with normal 
procedure, and she in her best middle-European accent 
answered "Z-z-zilvio," to the enormous disgust of the 
Italians in the audience and the enormous joy of every 
one else. 

Massenet's "Werther," a piece of excruciating senti- 
mentality, was revived for the use of Miss Garden, and 
she put it across. Ansseau was the Werther to her Char- 
lotte, lacking to some extent the overwhelming manner 
of Muratore, who, in Mrs. Malaprop's phrase, used to be 
the very pineapple of politeness in the part, but the opera 
was better liked by the public in this combination than 
before. 

On December 31, 1924, it is noted that the Civic 
Opera sought an injunction in the Circuit Court against 
Chaliapin asking that he be enjoined from appearing in 
Washington in "Faust" on January 26, 1925. According 
to the petition, he was due to appear in that city with 
the Civic Opera Company in "Boris Godunoff" on Feb- 
ruary 10 of the same year, and that his earlier appear- 
ance with another company would greatly reduce the 



282 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

ticket sale for that occasion. Also that it was a breach 
of his contract with the Civic Opera company. 

A temporary injunction was granted. Before the 
final hearing there was a chance for much conversation 
from the interested parties. Chaliapin proclaimed that 
he had an open date on January 26, and that was why 
he had agreed to go to Washington. The Washington 
people said that they were opening a new opera house 
on January 26, and that they did not wish to postpone 
their opening date, in fact they did not intend to postpone 
it. The opera company said nothing, but asked that the 
injunction be made permanent. 

The final hearing was held on January 8, 1925, 
and it opened the eyes of everybody as to the possibilities 
of legal processes. Apparently there was nothing in 
Chaliapin's contract forbidding him from appearing any- 
where he pleased at such times as he was not wanted by 
the Civic Opera. He was therefore permitted to fill the 
"Faust" engagement, but he and his agents were forbid- 
den from advertising the fact, otherwise they were to be 
held in contempt of court. Naturally the Washington 
people were doing all the advertising and Chaliapin and 
his agents did not need to do any announcing at all. So 
he filled both dates, with the Washington and Chicago 
companies, and had large audiences on both occasions. 

"This," said Edward Albion, general director of 
the Washington company, "is the greatest triumph for 
the cause of Art and American music in the history of 
our country. Chaliapin's appearance with the Washington 
opera in 'Faust' ushers in a new era of music for the 
capital, the culmination of which will mean the develop- 
ment of a genuine national opera." 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 283 

It was also something else. It was probably one of 
the most comic decisions in the history of American 
jurisprudence, and its culmination was the loss of Chalia- 
pin to the Chicago company. 

For Chaliapin began to think that what was legal 
sauce for the opera company could be served as well for 
its most eminent basso. The injunction hearing had 
brought out the fact that he was being paid at the rate 
of $3,500 a performance, and that he was engaged for a 
tour of ten weeks after the Chicago season. Altogether 
the season meant about $84,000 to him. 

For one reason and another it was decided that the 
tour should be eight instead of ten weeks long. At its end 
Chaliapin brought suit for the four, or possible six 
cachets he would have earned in the extra two weeks. 
The opera company resisted the claim, saying that ar- 
rangements for the shorter time had been made with his 
manager. Chaliapin's response was in effect that this 
might be true, but that no arrangements had been made 
with him, and that his manager had no power to enter 
into such an agreement. However, he sang six concerts 
during the two disputed weeks, thereby earning his full 
fee, or better, and he was never on hand when the case 
came up for hearing. Also, he did not return to the 
company. 

Tito Schipa, too, or rather Mrs. Schipa, came in 
for a share of the headlines. There was an account in the 
Tribune on January 15, not very far from the review of 
"Martha" of the night before. This is it: 

"It was after the opera hour when the Home Drug 
Company store at Wabash avenue and Congress street 
was crowded to capacity. 



284 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

"Tito Schipa, the tenor himself, and his wife wan- 
dered in. Mrs. Schipa was negligently regarding the 
perfume counter. Mr. Schipa was as unconcernedly stand- 
ing in the offing. Suddenly a feminine figure rushed upon 
the scene. 

"Two feminine arms enlaced themselves about 
Schipa's neck. And a pair of very feminine lips gave 
Schipa a pair of very fervent kisses. 

"Mrs. Schipa forgot to look further at the perfumes. 

"Mrs. Schipa forgot to muse over the comparative 
merits of violet or hyacinth. In excited French she de- 
manded of Mr. Schipa, presumably, whether he knew 
this person. In French as excited Mr. Schipa declared he 
did not. 

"It was then that Mrs. Schipa proved her right to 
marry an opera star. 

"One hundred and two pounds of opera star wife's 
fury went into a right and left. And the right and left 
were accompanied by French still more excited. 

"But 'I love him. I love him. I have heard his voice.' 
Mr. Schipa's admirer would not be denied. 

"As she was hustled out of the drug store and put 
into a cab, she gave her name as Evelyn Johnstone, and 
claimed she was a student at the University of Chicago. 

" 'I have heard him sing. I love him,' she declared 
as she nursed her bruises and was driven away. 

"And clad in a flaming red negligee, Mrs. Schipa 
in her suite at the Congress Hotel after the battle was 
over had the same phrase to repeat. 

" 'I love him,' she said, 'but sometimes it's hard to 
be the wife of an opera star.' " 

Of course it was all very impromptu and unexpected, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 285 

the tribute that flaming youth pays to glowing art. 
Wasn't it strange, though, that it should have happened 
in a public place before so many witnesses? Wasn't it 
stranger yet that a reporter should have been anony- 
mously tipped off to be in the drug store about 1 1 o'clock 
that night and keep his eyes open? 

The season closed with a deficit of $400,000, as Mr. 
Insull told the guarantors on the final Friday night. At 
that he found some elements of cheer in the situation. 
Attendance was growing faster than expense; the deficit 
for the three years of the Civic Opera Company's admin- 
istration had been $1,075,000, or $600,000 less than the 
three years before the Civic Company took hold. Already 
he was at work for a plan to cut some of the costs. One 
of them was to be a new storage warehouse and work- 
shop. It would cost $500,000; it would be paid for by a 
bond issue which would be retired in eight or nine years; 
when the bond issue was cleared, it would save the com- 
pany between $80,000 and $90,000 a year. 

Having given ninety-eight performances in Chicago, 
the company went away to give fifty-two more in Boston, 
Washington, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chatta- 
nooga, Memphis, Dallas, Tulsa, St. Louis, and Mil- 
waukee. 

The storage warehouse and workshop turned out 
to be one of the important achievements of the com- 
pany. Never seen by the public at large, it solved 
many of the organization's operating problems. Located 
on Dearborn and 26th streets, it holds all the stage equip- 
ment and in addition gives all needed opportunity to 
build new productions. Scenes are designed, built and 
painted there, costumes are made, armor is constructed, 



2 86 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

properties of all kinds are made there. At the end of a 
season all the used equipment is gone over, repaired, 
repainted, and stored away in such a fashion that it will 
be in good shape to use the next season. Even the wash- 
ing of costumes takes place there. Not only that, but the 
plant is equipped to do and frequently does work for 
other theaters in need of new productions. 

Harry W. Beatty, technical director of the com- 
pany, designed it. He has been known to say since that if 
he had it to do over again, there is nothing that he would 
need to change. 

Mr. Insull's proposal . to finance the undertaking 
was equally interesting. The company pays a certain 
amount of rent for the use of the building, that amount 
being at once diverted to an amortization of the bond 
issue. At the time this is being written about half the 
bonds have been paid off and retired. The plan worked 
so successfully that it became the basis of the vastly 
greater enterprise that came into being a few years later, 
something that was to be not only high finance but posi- 
tive romance in building. 



CHAPTER XXX 

In these more or less rambling reminiscences only a 
little has been said about the activities of that ever 
present and highly industrious operatic official, the press 
agent. This is partly because your true press agent does 
so many of his good works by stealth, though there is 
little evidence that one was ever caught blushing to find 
them known. 

Press agentry in its present complex and highly 
organized state is little more than a generation old. It 
developed through the discovery that newspapers are 
always on the lookout for something interesting to pub- 
lish in their columns, "a good story," in their own ver- 
nacular, and that sometimes they could be assisted in 
the discovery thereof. 

Good stories are of many kinds. Some classify as 
straight news, some as colorful or dramatic incidents, 
some merely as humorous items. Whatever they are, 
newspapers are likely to accept them gladly if they are 
good enough and infrequently repeated. Also a most 
abiding article of faith in the American mentality is the 
importance of being mentioned in newspaper columns. 
At that, some of the faith is justified. Justified or not, 
almost every concern you can mention has its own press 
agent and a good many private individuals as well. Every 
theater and every theatrical company has one or more 
press agents on its pay roll, so have banks, hotels, de- 

287 



288 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

partment stores, politicians, financial organizations, what 
not? And when you read of a large dinner or party in 
the society columns of the newspapers with a long list of 
the important guests, do you suppose that all this has 
come about through the far-reaching ability of the news- 
paper staff to know everything that is going on all the 
time? It is naturally the business of a newspaper to print 
news, and the more news it prints, the better newspaper 
it is. But frequently, more often than not, the society 
editor is assisted by a neatly typed list of guests, given 
her by the press agent of the hostess. 

Hardly an activity in American life exists that does 
not have its own press agent, engaged for the purpose 
of letting the world know what it is doing. No one cares 
to be private any more. The theatrical press agents have 
come to the point where they have a national association 
and annual conventions where they listen to solemn ad- 
dresses about minimum wage, betterment of the press 
agents' status, and the ethics of the profession. Some of 
them do not call themselves press agents : with the growth 
of the profession many have become influenced by 
grandeur and polysyllables. Counselors in public relations 
is one of the favored titles at present, but it translates 
simply into press agent. 

One can see that in the business of giving opera 
where there is always a deficit, where the constant 
thought by day and night of every one concerned is to 
make the opera company better known in the community 
and hence to induce more persons to buy tickets, the 
expert press agent is a person of high importance. Con- 
sequently every opera company has a press agent with 
running instructions not to work more than twenty-four 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 289 

hours a day, and a good many artists employ personal 
publicity seekers on their own behalf besides. This latter 
is partly a business investment, the enlargement of the 
artist's sphere of influence, and thereby the possible en- 
largement of his or her future earnings. The other part 
is probably just personal satisfaction, one might even call 
it vanity, though this angle of psychology need not be 
gone into deeply just now. 

It is to be believed that the early school of press 
agents leaned a little too heavily on Charles A. Dana's 
famous definition of news when he was editor of the 
New York Sun. He said that if a dog bit a man, it was 
not news, but if a man bit a dog, it was. This was only a 
picturesque way of saying that the unexpected is an im- 
portant element in a news item, but in the world of opera 
and their press agents, it has been given a totally unwar- 
ranted importance. Certainly in the nineteen years of the 
Chicago company, the men and women of the company 
have been incited to bite nearly every kind of a dog of 
publicity that the ingenious imaginations of their press 
agents could devise. 

They have christened infant arrivals in the animal 
pens of the Lincoln Park zoo; they have ridden in air- 
planes when airplanes were newer and more dangerous 
than they are now; they have sung in hospitals, insane 
asylums, jails, and penitentiaries; they have driven auto- 
mobiles through the stop lights on street corners hoping 
to be arrested; they have been pursued by mythical lovers 
carrying daggers and love letters and no less fabulous 
enemies carrying revolvers and demands for money; they 
have posed for photographers over kitchen stoves, sup- 
posedly preparing their own favorite viands; though the 



29O FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

record of their or any one's else having partaken thereof 
is not entirely complete, except in a few cases; for photo- 
graphic purposes again they have had their pet dogs, 
their pet cats, their pet monkeys, their pet fads of various 
sorts and descriptions. 

Once when Muratore was singing in "Romeo and 
Juliet" at the Auditorium, a young man called upon the 
newspapers bearing a typewritten account to the effect 
that the summer before Mr. Muratore, an ardent archae- 
ologist, had gone to Verona, had dug into the real tomb 
of the historical Romeo, and that the cloak he wore in 
the second act of the opera was the actual cloak that once 
hung from the shoulders of the living Romeo when he 
went a-courting by nights to Juliet's window. What is 
more, one of the newspapers in a weak moment yielded 
and printed the story. 

The trouble with such campaigns is that the number 
of stunts that can be thought up by press agents and 
executed by artists is limited, and once done, they and all 
their kind are worn out. Once a private press agent car- 
ried to the papers the news of his artist's loss of some 
jewelry taken by a pickpocket out of her handbag. As a 
matter of fact the incident happened to be absolutely 
and unassailably true, but the subject of prima donnas' 
jewels was by that time a permanently dead issue with 
Chicago newspapers, and the press agent was advised by 
a hard-hearted city editor to go and take a Turkish bath 
and then sign the temperance pledge. 

Barnum was the first of the press agents. Read his 
biography and you will learn how he put Jumbo on the 
map, not to mention his circus, and before that his 
museum, and, for once in music, Jenny Lind. But the field 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 29 1 

was new and unworked then, and Barnum had a fertile 
imagination. He knew, moreover, what many of the 
later generations of press agents never learned, that the 
best way to evolve his marvels was to set the stage and 
let the newspapers discover the stories for themselves, 
of course with a guiding hint when such a move seemed 
advisable. 

Has any one ever forgotten Anna Held and her milk 
baths? That episode was promoted according to the 
finest Barnum ideals. Once upon a time an actual suit 
was brought in an actual New York court to recover the 
price of some 720 gallons or so — I have forgotten the 
exact number — of milk. The newspapers were not even 
notified, but the large quantity of milk sold to a private 
individual, and the other curious features of the case 
excited attention and drifted out of the court room, as 
such things have a habit of doing. It was calmly alleged 
during the trial that the milk had been bought for the 
bathing purposes of a then unknown young French 
actress, and that she was indulging in this procedure in 
order to preserve the marvelous texture of her skin. 

It was enough for the papers. They played it up for 
weeks. They even demanded proof, and one day a select 
committee was permitted to enter the room where Miss 
Held reclined in a tub, with just her head showing and 
the rest of her modestly undisclosed beneath a concealing 
flood of opaque white fluid. How many American women 
fell for the plan and adopted it for their own, history 
does not tell, but it made Miss Held famous. 

The most notable Barnum method as applied to 
opera in America did not happen to the Chicago com- 
pany, but to the one in Boston. Henry Russell was getting 



292 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

ready to put on "Monna Vanna," the opera which had 
been made out of Maurice Maeterlinck's play of the same 
name, and he had engaged Georgette LeBlanc, Maeter- 
linck's former wife, to take the leading part. She and 
Maeterlinck were separated at that time, but this fact did 
not annoy the press agent. Perhaps it made his efforts 
the more potent. At any rate, this, as briefly as possible, 
was the procedure employed. 

A man was hired to go to one of the less well known 
Boston hotels, engage a room and sign the name of 
Maurice Maeterlinck on the hotel register. That was his 
sole function in the plot. Having done so much, he 
promptly disappeared and was seen no more. 

For the next scene — you see these things have to be 
played up with some dramatic flash — another man ap- 
peared in the same hotel and fell into casual conversation 
with another room clerk on the next watch, this episode 
carefully timed so that there could be no personal descrip- 
tion of the guest from the first one, in case some one 
happened to be personally acquainted with Maeterlinck. 
As the newcomer talked, he idly turned the leaves of the 
register and read some of the names. Suddenly he started 
back with intense interest depicted on his countenance. 

"Great muses of literature and the stage!" he ex- 
claimed, or words to that general effect. "Do you see 
this? Do you realize what it means?" 

The clerk naturally did not, but was willing to learn. 

"Why, here is the name of Maurice Maeterlinck, 
the Belgian dramatist, the most famous playwright in the 
world to-day. I just happened to see that his 'Monna 
Vanna' is going on at the Boston Opera House, and his 
wife is going to take the leading part. Now nobody has 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 293 

heard from him lately, and the chances are that he has 
come to Boston without announcing himself, registered at 
this hotel where he can be alone, and is going to gumshoe 
into the performance to see how she does it. Oh, this is 
rich!" 

And he, too, permanently disappeared from the 
scene, with his work also done. Without doubt there is 
not a hotel clerk in all the forty-eight states who would 
not rejoice at the chance of seeing his hotel get into the 
newspaper columns on a story of such a nature, and this 
clerk was no exception. He did the rest. Apparently a 
stream of reporters poured into that hotel for the rest 
of the day, and for days and weeks the headlines of Bos- 
ton newspapers asked of the world whether Maeterlinck 
was in Boston. It is not reported that the business of 
"Monna Vanna" fell off in consequence. 

But these are rare instances, and deserving of men- 
tion because of their ingenuity. Most of the others are 
by no means as ingenious, and they have been sadly over- 
worked. It began to get to the point that when a city 
editor received a message saying that Mme. So-and-So 
had been adopted as a full member of the tribe of Osage 
Indians, or that some one else was known as the successor 
of Patti, or that a third person proposed to run for mayor 
on the operatic ticket, he would throw the item on the 
floor with a few eloquent but forceful words. 

Finally a new light fell on the publicity office of the 
Chicago Opera. A wise and experienced man of publicity, 
one who had worked on newspapers as well as in press 
departments and consequently knew both sides of the 
business, observed that things were not going as well as 
they should, and straightway conceived an idea. It was 



294 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

that if the public and the newspapers were getting tired 
of freak publicity, it would be a good plan to tell the 
public in detail and without exaggeration just what sort 
of entertainment was going on at the Auditorium. As 
he expressed it, the company had goods to sell, and the 
public might as well know what it was buying. 

So he addressed himself to the public in plain state- 
ments of fact, and almost from the first day the business 
of the company began to pick up and flourish. Plain 
statements of fact have continued ever since. It was an- 
other of the things that were so simple that no one had 
ever thought of them. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

With the opening of the 1925 season on Tuesday, 
November 3, a capacity audience of us were given an 
enjoyable surprise with the matter provided, and a few 
of us with its manner. It was Richard Strauss' comic 
opera, "Der Rosenkavalier," a gem of a piece and a best 
seller of the German repertoire. 

In one respect it lived up to the most famous of 
stage traditions. This was that a bad dress rehearsal 
means a good performance. Some of us had attended 
the dress rehearsal the Saturday before, and it was so 
far from ready then that I, for one, could not pos- 
sibly see how it could struggle through without calamity. 
By Tuesday, however, all the rough spots had been 
ironed out, and the performance moved swiftly and with 
the very perfection of manner. Rosa Raisa had the part 
of the Princess, Edith Mason that of Sophie, Olga Forrai 
that of the boy, Octavian, Alexander Kipnis the baron, a 
long list of clever people filled the lesser parts, and 
Giorgio Polacco conducted. 

A good part of its success as a performance can 
be laid to the presence of a highly competent stage di- 
rector. It is a complex and tricky piece in performance, 
and so Charles Moor was brought over from Europe to 
stage it. For several seasons the company had been strug- 
gling along with little or no stage management, in fact 
from the beginning stage management had always been 

295 



296 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the weak point of the company's operations. There had 
been a whole series of stage directors, at least calling 
themselves by that title, but as they were almost in- 
variably foreigners speaking no English, and as the un- 
seen staff behind the scenes usually spoke nothing else, 
the struggle was frequently not a success. One of the 
electricians once complained that when the director came 
to him and haltingly said, "Sun — moon — snow," he had 
to be a mindreader to know what lighting effect was 
wanted. 

And for some time there had not been even that 
degree of direction. Operas were pretty well permitted 
to stage themselves. At that, sometimes the plan, or lack 
of plan, worked. A good many of the artists were expe- 
rienced and conscientious, and could be depended upon 
to do the right thing and help the others of less expe- 
rience. Mr. Polacco, too, always had a well defined idea 
of what he wanted to take place in a performance, and 
used to stage his operas while rehearsing them. In other 
cases, however, it frequently did not work, and many 
performances were lamentably ragged. At the best and 
with the most competent of conductors, it puts an extra 
burden upon the conductor, who always has plenty to do 
without it. 

Mr. Moor was and is a Scotchman who had wide- 
spread operatic experience both as conductor and stage 
director in various theaters of Germany. When the war 
broke out, he came back to England and served in the 
army; when peace was declared he returned to his pro- 
fession in Germany, varying his life there with engage- 
ments during the spring season at Covent Garden, Lon- 
don. His name is really Moore, but being desirous of 




Photo by Moffett 
Alexander Kipnis as Baron Ochs in "Rosen kavalier" 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 297 

keeping it in its proper single-syllabled form on German 
tongues, he dropped the final letter. 

European engagements made it impossible for him 
to be in Chicago for more than a few weeks, so he merely 
made order out of what might have been semichaos in 
"Der Rosenkavalier" and then went back. The next 
season, however, he was a permanent member of the 
organization, and has remained there ever since. 

There is a vast difference between Europe and 
America in giving opera. One is sometimes inclined to 
think that most of the fine singers are in America and 
most of the fine performances in Europe. In the most 
famous European opera houses, La Scala in Milan, Bai- 
reuth, Munich, various others, they develop perform- 
ances with a wealth of detail and a care in preparation 
undreamed of on this side of the Atlantic. It is not 
enough that a performance shall be safe. It must be 
polished to the final button. Toscanini, artistic overlord 
of La Scala, has been known to cancel a performance on 
the day it was to be given because he was dissatisfied with 
something that no American company would think twice 
about. It is curious to see the docility of the Milan au- 
diences at such times. They come to the theater, learn 
that it is dark, go home again, and nobody thinks of 
protesting. They have learned that Toscanini has a good 
reason for doing such things, and that he will make it 
up to them before the season is over. 

There is a different point of view both on the stage 
and in the audience. No European director would dream 
of putting on operas at the high pressure accepted as 
normal in this country. They know that they cannot do 
it to the satisfaction of their patrons, and the patrons 



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-Mi.-.::. Ie;zi_t' r -i5 z'ziizv-eri hy Cmrner. in 
" : lit Mmzzzzerite D'AOirez mize mztner rues: iz- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 299 

pearance in the name part to the Don Jose of Fernand 
Ansseau. If "Manon Lescaut" is so difficult to present 
that Lucrezia Bori comes near to being the ideal artist 
for it, "Carmen" seldom misses fire, and Mme. D'Al- 
varez, in spite of her unusually large physical proportions 
for the name part, was greatly applauded. Ansseau was 
always applauded, and rightfully, for everything that 
he did. Though lacking just the final touch of elegance, 
he was one of the most honest singers that ever put on 
grease paint and costumes. 

A greatly photographed young person begins to 
appear in the public prints about this time. The Polacco 
family had on the June before received its most cherished 
addition in the person of Miss Graziella, to become forth- 
with by far the most important member of the house- 
hold. Born in Milan, christened in Chicago, she belongs 
to two lands and is a much traveled young lady, with 
the habit of visiting both her homes every year. 

Then came an explosion of Verdi so long drawn out 
that it became almost a continuous bombardment: "A 
Masked Ball" with Rosa Raisa, Cyrena Van Gordon, 
Charles Marshall, and Robert Steel (debut) on Sat- 
urday afternoon; "Rigoletto" with Edith Mason, Charles 
Hackett, and Cesare Formichi Saturday night; "Travi- 
ata" with Claudia Muzio, Antonio Cortis, and Richard 
Bonelli (debut) Sunday afternoon; an unexplained side 
excursion to ''Martha" with Miss Mason, Irene Pav- 
loska, Tito Schipa, and Virgilio Lazzari Monday night, 
but back to "Ai'da" Tuesday night with Raisa, Van 
Gordon, Marshall, Formichi, Lazzari, and Kipnis. 

A news item somewhat out of the ordinary as far 
as opera is concerned became visible at that point. One 



300 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

night during the first week of the season "Samoots" 
Amatuma, one of the most eminent and pecunious of 
the tribe of bootleggers, all of whom had been made 
highly prosperous since the passage of the Volstead act, 
was shot in a barber shop just after having been given 
a shave, a manicure, and a shoeshine. When picked up, 
four tickets for that night's opera performance were 
found in his pocket. 

The claque made another demonstration, and each 
member of the company was served with a notice from 
the business office stating that purchased applause could 
affect his status in only one way — prejudicially. "Ignore 
cajolery, but if direct threats are made to you, please 
inform the management." Whereupon the Tribune came 
forth with a jesting editorial commending the practice 
of the claque for war, for opera, for every public activity, 
concluding with this: "What would football, what would 
baseball be without their claques? What would they be? 
Why, cricket, of course. 'I say, well played, old thing! 
Right-o.' " 

Of other items of the period, the first anniversary 
of the death of Puccini was celebrated by a performance 
of "Madame Butterfly" in which Rosa Raisa made one of 
her few appearances in the name part; the centenary 
of "The Barber of Seville" with Toti Dal Monte; Wil- 
liam Beck was found dead in his hotel room while the 
curtain was held for him to take his place in the cast of 
"Herodiade." 

Presumably Mr. Beck died of a sudden stroke of 
some kind. There was a report that he had become ill 
after receiving a present of some wine, and the bottle 
was held for analysis, but the contents disappeared be- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 3OI 

fore the chemist could do his work, and that part of it 
was never known. 

One of the most interesting characters in the whole 
force of the Civic Opera Company is a man whom hardly 
one of the patrons ever sees. His name is Thomas Con- 
nolly. By trade he is a plasterer, and a good one. If you 
are around the Auditorium by day, you may perhaps 
notice him as he passes by from one job to the next, 
a gray-haired, bespectacled, overalled workman, ap- 
parently intent on nothing but the preservation of the 
Auditorium walls. But after hours he is a collector of 
matters pertaining to the stage, and what he has acquired 
during a period of years is something to make other col- 
lectors lick their lips enviously. 

He has one of the greatest collections of theatrical 
and operatic playbills in existence, and he knows or has 
known more than casually all of the great operatic and 
dramatic stars for a third of a century. Some of his bills 
date back to the 1700's. In several cases he has complete 
files giving the records of every performance at some of 
the famous European playhouses for many years. Hun- 
dreds of his bills refer to Covent Garden and Drury 
Lane in London before 1800. His collection relating to 
Chicago performances covers more than half a century. 

He also has a collection of rare books and docu- 
ments, several thousand volumes now out of print, papers 
containing the authentic signatures of popes, cardinals, 
emperors, kings, and queens. Henry VIII, both Charles 
I and II of England are on his list, not to mention most 
of the monarchs since, and statesmen, poets, playwrights, 
authors almost without number. 

He is in constant correspondence with celebrities, 



302 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

and his collection has been the occasion of clearing up 
more than one moot point in historical research. Julia 
Marlowe counts him as one of her friends, and Ellen 
Terry used to send him letters regularly up to the time 
of her death. 

And yet most Chicagoans do not know he is there. 

Three American operas were planned for this sea- 
son; two were actually staged. They were "Namiko San" 
by Aldo Franchetti and "A Light from St. Agnes" by 
W. Franke Harling. Charles Wakefield Cadman's "The 
Witch of Salem" could not be got ready in time and was 
deferred until the next season. 

"Namiko San" was founded upon a classical Jap- 
anese play whose translated title is "The Daimyo." The 
composer, a nephew of another Franchetti who had writ- 
ten several Italian operas, put it into being for the benefit 
of Tamaki Miura, the little Japanese soprano, who be- 
cause of her race seemed doomed to a perpetual succession 
of performance of "Madame Butterfly." She had done 
Mascagni's "Iris" on the road and a few performances 
of "Madame Chrysantheme," in Chicago, but it was as 
Cho-Cho-San that she was best known. 

Mr. Franchetti wrote a melodious, consistent score 
to a consistent libretto that had been toned down a bit 
from the excessive goriness of the original. In the Jap- 
anese version, there was a call for Namiko San's head 
to be severed by a wielder of the snickersnee so dextrous 
that it was to remain on her shoulders. At a touch a few 
minutes later it was to fall off and roll across the stage. 
This was considered a bit thick even for grand opera, 
which shrinks at few horrors, and the ending was 
modified. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 303 

It went across to a definite if not overwhelming 
success, and the next season Miura took it on the road 
and sang in it across the country with the composer con- 
ducting. Before then a journalistic tempest broke out as 
to whether Franchetti should be classified as an American 
or Italian composer. As nearly as can be remembered, 
it was settled by the Italian papers calling him Italian 
and the American papers, such as were interested, point- 
ing to his American naturalization proceedings. 

"A Light from St. Agnes" was the musical version 
of a one-act play written and acted by Mrs. Minnie Mad- 
dern Fiske. Mr. Harling explained that in the score he 
was making some slight use of jazz, not dragged in by 
the heels for the sake of an operatic holiday, but intended 
for musical characterization, and that a few saxophones 
would be necessary to play it. This created some extra 
pains in rehearsals, for most of the saxophonists able 
to play good jazz found trouble in reading the score, and 
those who could read the score were not jazz experts. 

In time all was straightened out. Rosa Raisa, 
Georges Baklanoff, Forrest Lamont and a male chorus 
sang the piece and Mr. Harling conducted. One reads 
of the first performance that when he was called before 
the curtain Miss Raisa gave him a public and hearty kiss, 
and that this apparently seemed a good example to all 
the opera in English adherents who attended. By the 
time he was able to draw the lapels of his coat over his 
blushing cheeks and beat a retreat from the theater lobby 
to his hotel rooms, Mrs. Harling acting as bodyguard, 
he had been kissed some 200 times according to the most 
accurate estimate. 

Disregarding osculatory demonstrations, it was an 



304 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

interesting piece, quite the most American in atmosphere 
that the Chicago company had ever produced, but it 
was never revived. Then the decks were cleared for the 
final novelty of the season, Italian, this time. 

This was "Resurrection," founded on Tolstoi's 
novel of the same name, libretto by Cesar Hanau, trans- 
lation into French by Paul Ferrier, music by Franco 
Alfano. 

In a conversation in Milan the summer before, 
Alfano, then deep in the work of completing Puccini's 
sketches for the last part of "Turandot," told me that 
to some extent he regretted the choice of "Resurrection." 
He said that while he would always maintain a profound 
affection for it as an earlier work, he felt that he had 
learned something about the art of composition since, 
and that he would like to see some of his later music 
accepted for performance. 

Miss Garden, however, cast a farseeing eye on the 
dramatic possibilities of the piece, and recognized ele- 
ments quite as marked as the musical ones. She was en- 
tirely right. Her performance of Caterina became the 
most stirring and popular part that she had had in years. 
The opera, somewhat episodic in character, consisted of 
four scenes, or perhaps more accurately, tableaux, and 
each one had a marked dramatic drive, the four running 
through most of the human emotions. It promptly took 
an important part in her standard repertoire. 

Without doubt the most important date of that 
season was December 9. For on that day, Mr. Insull, 
speaking at a luncheon before 500 business men of the 
Association of Commerce, bared for the first time a 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 305 

stupendous dream that had been occupying him for some 
time. It was no less than a new opera house. 

The time was near, he explained, when the citizens 
of Chicago must show their appreciation of opera and 
their willingness to support it. A new guaranty of $500,- 
000 a year must soon be raised, for the old one would 
expire in another year. While the opera company was 
doing everything possible to increase income and lower 
expenses, unsubsidized opera seemed impossible. A new 
opera house would be both a civic center and a sound 
financial undertaking. It would be a magnificent memorial 
for the future ; it would be a producer of income for the 
opera company. 

"Assuming that we will have the support of the citi- 
zens," he concluded, "I know that my associates will not 
be willing to hand this proposition over to others until 
we have solved the problem of a home for grand opera 
of such a monumental character that it would be a credit 
to this great city of which we are so proud." 

This was the beginning of what was to loom large. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

Mr. Insull was always of the firm opinion that 
opera, its enjoyments and advantages, should by no means 
be confined to one particular class or group of classes. 
He greatly preferred to think of its effect on the com- 
munity as a whole, realizing the while that in order to 
have a general effect, it must be given a general patron- 
age. He therefore established an innovation, about as 
interesting in theory and results as any that had been 
undertaken up to that time. 

Lecturers, salesmen, pep advocates had at one time 
and another been incited to go before groups of wage 
earners and address them earnestly on the advantage of 
buying tickets for the opera. In such cases intentions 
were excellent but results not so satisfactory. It was diffi- 
cult to induce a workman during his noon hour that he 
ought to tie himself up to the obligation of paying out a 
considerable sum for the privilege of going into an opera 
house among strangers to witness an entertainment that 
he might or might not enjoy, and this was true whether 
the wage earner was of the overalled or white-collared 
variety. Mr. Insull accordingly changed the angle of ap- 
proach. Instead of urging these prospective patrons to 
buy tickets to the opera, why not invite them to come to 
the opera? 

This was a theory going hand in hand with one that 
had been put into practice with great success by the 

306 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 307 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As far back as 1914, the 
orchestra, with precisely the same desire, that of extend- 
ing the influence of music, had established a series of 
popular concerts, and, with the aid of the Civic Music 
Association of Chicago, had made them available for resi- 
dents of such quarters of Chicago as ordinarily would 
never think of coming to the loop district to hear music. 
Blocks of tickets were distributed to civic centers of all 
kinds, settlement houses, welfare agencies of large com- 
mercial institutions, what not, with instructions to return 
all unsold tickets to Orchestra Hall on the Monday before 
the Thursday "pop" for the benefit of the public at large. 

In the beginning, concerts were few — only four the 
first year — and programs were constructed with the most 
extreme care not to frighten off any one apprehensive of 
supposedly "high-brow" music. Much emphasis was laid 
upon Handel's Largo and Mendelssohn's Spring Song, 
to name only two well known established favorites. 

In an astonishingly short time there began to be a 
growth. Popular concerts increased in number and the 
character of the programs began to change. Tentatively 
at first, Mr. Stock began to introduce single movements 
from symphonies. Finding they were as well liked as the 
briefer, lighter numbers, he put in more of them, then 
occasional complete symphonies of the lighter order. 
After a time — and this means that the concerts continued 
throughout the trying period of the war — a referendum 
was taken for a request program, and some fifteen stand- 
ard symphonies led all other compositions on the vote. 

Of recent years there has had to be a change in the 
manner of conducting these concerts, but the changes 
all tend to show that popular concerts have become 



308 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

popular. The general public has had to be excluded. 
Sixteen concerts are given each season, and in each case 
the audiences come entirely through the agencies just 
mentioned. More than that, there are so many agencies 
by now that they can not all be accommodated. Each 
agency must go without tickets for one out of every three 
concerts. And if you examine the programs for the year 
you will frequently be puzzled to distinguish between 
the "pops" and the standard Tuesday, Friday, and Satur- 
day programs. Finally, only a few seasons went by before 
all the available Saturday night subscription tickets in 
the upper part of the house were absorbed by graduates 
of the popular series. 

This is an orchestral, not an operatic experience, 
but it is cited because the opera company had an almost 
parallel experience. Some Sunday nights were set aside 
for the experiment. For each night a commercial institu- 
tion was addressed. One Sunday was reserved, let us say, 
for the elevated railway company, another for the tele- 
phone company, a third for the gas company, a fourth for 
a steam railway company, and so on. But here the public 
was excluded in advance. No left-overs were put on sale 
at all. Even the critics were politely but firmly invited 
to stay away. Only the employes of one individual firm 
were present. 

No concessions of performance were permitted. A 
popular opera was selected, but it was not cheapened in 
performance. It was sung and played exactly as it had 
been done for the $6 audience that had been present a 
few nights before, with the same leading artists, full 
orchestra, and complete chorus. The only concessions 
were in matters of prices for tickets. These audiences 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 309 

came in at reduced rates, the difference in cost being met 
by an agreement between the opera company and the 
different firms affected. 

At first, says Mr. Insull, there was some difficulty 
in filling the house. Prospective patrons were a bit shy, 
perhaps distrustful. The experiment continued, however, 
and with the result often noted in other classifications of 
performances, that one of the most potent advertise- 
ments in the whole advertising world is what the person 
who has gone says to his friends who have not. At any 
rate, during the 1928-29 sqason eight Sunday night per- 
formances were given to capacity audiences, often with a 
history of over-subscription and a disappointed waiting 
list. 

These two cases illustrate more plainly than volumes 
of exhortation what is really meant by the educational 
influence of music. The chief difference between these 
audiences and others is that they are likely to be con- 
siderably more appreciative and warmer in their demon- 
strations of appreciation. It is an interesting psychological 
fact, and it is a heartwarming one to those who have the 
good fortune to be present at such times. 

There is another interesting fact as well, reacting 
entirely to the benefit of such audiences as are being 
discussed here. The warmth of appreciation so frequently 
observed, instantly floats to the other side of the foot- 
lights and returns in the form of a better performance. 
Artists feel it at once and are lifted out of themselves. 
There is not a professional musician in the world im- 
mune to the influence. I often wonder what must be the 
difference in the minds of the artists between an operatic 
performance in Germany, where continuity is the rule 



310 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

and all demonstrations of approval are sternly hissed 
down until the end of the act, and one in Italy, where a 
brilliant incident may stop the performance for whole 
minutes on end. 

Getting back to opera on a subscription basis, the 
1926-27 season started conventionally but brilliantly with 
"A'ida" on Monday, November 8, sung by Muzio, Van 
Gordon, Formichi, Lazzari, Kipnis, and a new tenor 
named Aroldo Lindi. Back in his home in Sweden, his 
name had been Harold Lindau, but for some reason or 
other, some said because of European contractual obliga- 
tions, he was maintaining the Italianized form of his 
name. 

He had had a sort of male Cinderella career, having 
run away from home as a boy, with a life that included 
incidents as a breaker boy in a mine, a foremast hand on 
shipboard, a piano mover in Boston, the whole mixed 
with aspirations for the prize ring. In order to make the 
story completely satisfactory he should have established 
himself as the world's foremost tenor that night in Chi- 
cago. Perhaps that brilliant chapter is still in his future. 
As it was, he did a competent though not wholly brilliant 
season with the Civic Opera and then went away to other 
opera houses. 

Raisa, Lamont, and Rimini followed with "The 
Jewels of the Madonna," a flashing work that had for 
some seasons been allowed to get dim through inaccurate 
staging but was here restored to its former glow as a 
performance and popularity as a box office attraction. 
The same papers that carried this enlivening news also 
bore a sadder item to the effect that Joseph Schwarz, a 
great if somewhat eccentric baritone, was dead in Berlin 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 3II 

following a surgical operation. He was only forty-six 
years old, and under happier circumstances, would have 
had years of brilliant career before him. No one has ever 
surpassed the performances he gave in Chicago in "Tann- 
hauser" and "Otello." 

Mason, Pavloska, Cortis and a newcoming bari- 
tone, Luigi Montesanto, appeared on Wednesday in "La 
Boheme," another restudied and consequently improved 
performance. Garden, Ansseau, and the many others of 
the long cast took up "Resurrection" to ever increasing 
applause. Elsa Alsen, who had visited Chicago some 
years before with the German Opera company, made her 
first appearance at the Auditorium as Isolde in the Wag- 
ner work, to the Tristan of Marshall, the Kurwenal of 
Bonelli, the Brangame of Van Gordon, and the Mark of 
Kipnis, with Polacco conducting. For once here was an 
opera almost too carefully prepared. It moved cautiously. 
It had everything except supple freedom. The week ended 
with more debuts, Eide Norena as Gilda in "Rigoletto" 
on Saturday afternoon, Louise Loring as Leonora in "II 
Trovatore" in the evening. But by that time the presence 
of a distinguished visitor was attracting the attention of 
headlines. 

Police whistles all over the city were blowing to 
clear the way for the automobiles of Queen Marie of 
Roumania, her son and daughter and attendant suite, 
and Chicago was rapidly dividing into three parts, those 
invited to meet the queen, those not invited to meet her, 
and those who had no hopes of anything but a passing 
view of her. 

She came to the opera on Tuesday night, November 
16, sat in lonely state in a box, incidentally demonstrating 



312 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

that one of the chief functions of royalty is to be an 
exhibition in itself, and made one silent but effective com- 
ment on Raisa's A'ida. It consisted in staying consider- 
ably longer during the performance than the royal sched- 
ule for the evening had contemplated, thereby causing 
considerable damage to the nervous systems of the 
attendant suite. 

On November 16 it was told that about $520,000 
had been pledged for another five years' continuance of 
the company. By this time some 2,000 names of guaran- 
tors appeared on the list, their subscriptions varying over 
a wide range. 

With Queen Marie on her way, attention could 
once again revert to the opera and its novelties. The first 
was "La Cena delle Beffe," on November 27, a collection 
of thrills from the pen of Sem Benelli, with Umberto 
Giordano making his most laudable effort to underline 
each shiver with music. It had been played as a drama in 
Europe and America, in this country under the name of 
"The Jest" with Lionel and John Barrymore in the 
leading parts, and its success undoubtedly incited Gior- 
dano to set it to music and various opera companies to 
present it. For a theory exists that the book bears a 
large part in the success of an opera. Perhaps it is be- 
cause composers have turned their attention to writing, 
other things than tunes. 

"La Cena delle Beffe" was a pleasant little idyl of 
torture and betrayal, murder and madness, all dressed 
up in the colorful era of Lorenzo the Magnificent of 
Florence. Musically it is little or nothing to go wild over 
in spite of the fact that the tenor after a few perform- 
ances of it is usually ready to take a rest cure. In this 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 313 

case the tenor was Cortis, who did the best performance 
of his Chicago career up to that time. The baritone was 
Montesanto, and the lady of careless habits who could 
not make her eyes behave was Muzio. Because of a color- 
ful setting and a performance put on with extraordinary 
care, the thrills of the piece got across to the audience 
and it was played several times that season, but not since. 

The next was the English novelty deferred from the 
season before, "A Witch of Salem," book by Nelle Rich- 
mond Eberhart, music by Charles Wakefield Cadman, 
first presented on December 8. Mrs. Eberhart had been 
Mr. Cadman's collaborator for something like twenty 
years in a large number of songs and the previous opera, 
"Shanewis." This time, however, they turned away from 
the romance and dance rhythms of the Indians to a drab 
tale of puritan Massachusetts in 1692. 

This was an error in the beginning. Only Verdi was 
ever able to be operatically gay with ancient Massachu- 
setts, in "A Masked Ball," and even he did it uninten- 
tionally, having started with royal Sweden. Opera pre- 
supposes color, though it may be unpleasant color, and 
colonial New England had no great tendency toward 
anything but grayness. With that handicap Mrs. Eber- 
hart wrote a fairly interesting story which in the form 
it was cast and the way it was presented never got quite 
up to full dramatic tension, and Mr. Cadman wrote 
some music of rather excellent entertaining values. Curi- 
ously enough the tune which seemed to go the best was 
a mere scrap of a pirate chanty that he had collected at 
one time and used here briefly to bring on the male 
chorus. Norena, Hackett, Pavloska, Lorna Doone Jack- 
son, Augusta Lenska, and several others were concerned 



3 14 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

in the performance, and tongues were set wagging again 
about the value of the English language in opera. In this 
case intelligibility ranged from bright clearness from the 
lips of Mr. Hackett down through various ranges of 
murk to total eclipse from some of the others. 

Another effort at popularizing English, the most 
industrious of all, came to pass with "Tiefland." This 
was another case of a play turned into opera, the play 
known in this country as "Marta of the Lowlands" when 
Bertha Kalich acted in it, set to music by Eugen d'Albert 
and sung with considerable success in Germany. 

Here, distrusting a made-to-order translation, the 
composer, Conductor Weber, and Stage Director Moor 
had worked all the summer before trying to evolve a 
translation that would stand up on its own merits and 
be singable. It came to performance two nights before 
Christmas with a cast composed of Alsen, Pavloska, 
Jackson, Lamont, Rimini, Kipnis, and a number of others, 
and did not take long to write itself on the list of ought- 
never-to-have-beens. There was one good song in it, the 
story of a fight with a wolf, sung by Lamont. For the 
rest, the piece consisted of two acts, a prologue melting 
into the first and each running for hours and hours and 
hours, with musical phrases repeated and repeated and 
repeated. Even at this comparatively recent interval I 
should dislike very much to be given an examination on 
what the story was about. There was something about a 
seduction, but all the characters bore such forbidding 
exteriors that seduction seemed to rank not as a sporting 
enterprise but an act of positive heroism. 

New Year's eve was one of the pleasantest events 
of the season. It was celebrated by a performance of 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 315 

Mozart's "Don Giovanni," all dressed up in new scenery, 
with a cast that came close to approaching perfection. 
It was a grand occasion, and some $20,000 worth of us — 
publicity department's figures — assembled to see it. 

At first view the scenery seemed more important 
than the cast. It had been executed by Julian Dove of 
Chicago, the scenic artist of the company, from sketches 
by Schenck von Trapp of Germany. As the opera is in 
two acts with several changes of scene for each, it was 
necessary to avoid waits, consequently an inner prosce- 
nium had been built affording the use of colored curtains 
and changes behind them. It was a picture in reds and 
oranges, greens and purples, blues and yellows, lines 
curving off into semi-dementia and buildings that looked 
like a pastry cook's dream of paradise. But it was fasci- 
nating. It almost deserved the name of the Mozart 
Follies. And then there was the cast! 

Vanni-Marcoux came back after a long absence to 
re-debut as the Don. The three women of his affections 
were Raisa, Mason, and Loring. Schipa had the tenor 
part and one of the loveliest songs of all, "II mio tesoro." 
Lazzari was the Leporello. Trevisan, the sole link with 
the performance of ten years before, was the Masetto. 
Kipnis was the Commendatore. Polacco conducted. 
There, I submit, was a performance, high comedy, suave, 
unsentimentalized, flashing, stimulating. 

One reads of a somewhat astonishing performance 
of "Tosca" during this period, astonishing, that is, in its 
linguistic manifestations. Mr. Ansseau, as Mario, sang in 
Italian until the entrance of Miss Garden. Then he 
switched to French. At her exit he switched back again. 
She sang in French until the time for "Vissi d'arte" in 



316 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the second act, which was her single Italian demonstra- 
tion. Mr. Vanni-Marcoux confined himself to Italian 
throughout. And when in the second act Miss Garden 
swept down upon him, demanding "Combien?" and he, 
supposedly echoing her word, said "Quanto?" genuine 
emotion prevailed. It was the first time that this scene 
had been supposed to contain comic values. 

For, as the proponents of opera in the original 
tongues always tell you, there is a subtle something in 
the original language much too precious to be lost, and 
so evanescent that it always evaporates in translation. 
Also, it is too much to expect an artist to learn a role in 
one language and then turn his tongue to another in the 
same melody. 

"Judith" was the last novelty of the season. It is a 
brief work by Arthur Honegger, based upon the story in 
the Apocrypha of how Judith goes to Holofernes' tent 
and returns with his head. Miss Garden had selected it 
for her own use the summer before and had given fre- 
quent assurance by letter and word of mouth that it was 
a work of great genius. 

Honegger's music is better known in the United 
States now than it was then. For that reason the trill 
on major sevenths with which the piece begins is less 
startling now, as are his other amiable demonstrations 
of writing in two keys simultaneously and calling it poly- 
tonality. There was some genuinely affecting music for the 
chorus, such as the incident of the wailing Bethulians in 
the first act. For the rest, it was mostly dramatic decla- 
mation with a lightly scored accompaniment, and with 
its effectiveness depending a good deal on the person who 
delivered it. Miss Garden made it greatly effective, in 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 317 

fact, it was a fine dramatic part throughout for her. But 
the super-thrills she promised, the incidents that were 
going to make "Salome" look like a sewing circle, com- 
pletely failed to come off. 

Mr. Insull's annual speech at the gala performance 
for guarantors on January 28 confirmed the promise of 
the new opera house. It was to be on the block bounded 
by Madison, Market, and Washington streets and the 
Chicago river, it was to have a greater seating capacity 
than the Auditorium but fewer boxes — there was a gasp 
from the boxholders at this — it was to be surmounted by 
a huge office building, and it was to cost between $15,- 
000,000 and $16,000,000. 

Like a skilled dramatist, Mr. Insull led up to this as 
a climax. He first told how attendance had picked up, 
and how the guarantors were to pay 80 per cent that 
year, an average of 75 per cent for the first five years 
under the new plan. Then he passed to the coming build- 
ing, explaining that the company's lease on the venerated 
Auditorium would be up in six months, that it could be 
renewed for a brief period, but that in course of time 
the Auditorium building must be torn down and the com- 
pany must move. Of the new site, he added: 

"It has the only thoroughfare in the city wide 
enough for a plaza, or square, near the center of business 
and transportation and comparable with European plazas. 

"It cannot be purely monumental. It must be com- 
mercial, not only self-supporting, but profitable." Hence 
the opera house must be surrounded by a skyscraper 
office building, "suitable," he said, "to serve its part in 
the enlargement of the business center of the city which 
we contemplate it is likely to bring about." 



3 1 8 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Not only this, but he had detailed plans of how it 
was all going to be paid for. About half of the cost would 
be met by a mortgage loan, arrangements for which had 
already been made with the Metropolitan Life Insurance 
Company of New York. The balance was to be raised by 
the sale of preferred stock, and these securities would 
begin to be paid off within a few years after the opening 
of the building. 

"Ultimately, probably within the lifetime of many 
of you present," he concluded, "the enterprise will pro- 
vide us with a home for opera not only free of all charge, 
but with funds enough to pay any deficit on our season's 
operations as well as for other forms of musical enter- 
tainment and musical education for the public. 

"If the plan goes through, we shall have created a 
great civic foundation with income enough to educate 
artists, musicians, choristers, dancers, and technicians, 
and to add prestige to this community as an artistic and 
financial center." 

That night the audience went home with something 
to think about. 




Photo by National Photographing Company 
The Grand Foyer of Chicago's New Civic Opera House 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

One hour every week during the season you are able, 
if you wish, to stay home and tune in on the performances 
of the Chicago opera. It has been an interesting and com- 
plex development. The first year that the Civic Opera was 
in existence it was tried out, with none too encouraging 
results. Radio was in its infancy then, a none too lusty 
infancy. Broadcasts were not very accurate, static filled 
the air, and those who owned machines were for a consid- 
erable period more interested in seeing how many stations 
could be located than in listening to any one attraction. 

Because of this last fact, radio had become a con- 
siderable source of alarm to music makers of all sorts 
and descriptions. There were anticipations that the de- 
vice would kill all profitable audiences, to say nothing of 
destroying public taste for good music, and consternation 
prevailed. It was freely told around the lobbies of the 
Auditorium that the company would have to stop broad- 
casting or else have no audiences at all. So it stopped for 
a time. 

But no device in the world was ever improved more 
swiftly than radio. Before long machines began to appear 
on the market that gave some semblance of the tone 
qualities that they were trying to reproduce, and some 
degree of intelligibility to the words they were trying to 
transmit. It was also discovered that there were some 
cases, not all, but some, where broadcasting worked to 

319 



320 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

the improvement of the operatic and concert business. 
The point of psychology seemed to be that hearing a 
voice or an instrument through the medium of a soulless 
machine provoked a curiosity to see and hear the artist 
at close range. Incidentally, there had been the same sort 
of panic and the same result years before when that other 
mechanical plaything, the talking machine and its records, 
began to come on the market. But as the world soon 
knew, records definitely aided concerts and artists alike. 

Finally the National Broadcasting Company moved 
on the Civic Opera with a proposition that seemed fea- 
sible to accept. It was an elaborate job and it gave the 
broadcasting engineers a good bit of a problem. The 
task was to install no less than eighteen microphones on 
and about the stage in such a way that they would pick 
up the complete atmosphere of the theater. Four Chicago 
stations and the combined Red and Blue networks of the 
National Broadcasting Company took part in the trans- 
mitting. 

You are seldom able to see more than one or two of 
the microphones from your seat in the audience. One, 
the visible one, is suspended from the ceiling over the 
heads of the patrons. Others are on the stage, down in 
the footlights, behind pieces of scenery, at the back of 
the stage and down in the orchestra pit. Those immedi- 
ately behind the scenes had to have a special guard over 
each one, for it was found that in spite of all care and 
repeated warnings, artists, choristers or stage hands 
would gather about for a private chat of their own, and 
sometimes their conversation went on the air to the detri- 
ment of the music. 

All microphones lead to a "mixing panel" at the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 32 1 

back of the stage where an operator whose function is 
something like that of an organist cuts out certain wires, 
cuts in others, combines them with reference to the action 
on the stage so that the most efficient blend of tone is 
produced. From the mixing panel the pick-up goes to the 
Chicago broadcasters and from there by wire to New 
York. It is then sent out over the regular network of 
stations, and thus you turn it on in your own library or 
drawing room and get what is happening on the Audi- 
torium stage. 

The amount of territory covered by the broadcast is 
so large as to be almost unbelievable. It runs east to the 
Atlantic, north well into Canada, west as far as the Rocky 
Mountains, south to Houston and El Paso, Texas, and 
there are reports every week to prove the statement. 
Estimates of how many persons listen in each week must 
of necessity be only estimates, but an audience of 2,000,- 
000 is probably a small one. 

So the 1927 season came into being to be both seen 
and unseen. The opening night, Thursday, November 3, 
was a tough one on the critics. For as it happened, an- 
other important attraction, the Boston Symphony Orches- 
tra, was booked for a concert at Orchestra Hall on the 
same night. Wherefore, who could tell how much time to 
give to Muzio and Schipa and Conductor Polacco in "La 
Traviata" at the Auditorium, and when would be the 
right time to dash over to Orchestra Hall to hear the 
Boston Orchestra which had not visited Chicago for six- 
teen years, and Conductor Serge Koussevitzky, who was 
in Chicago for the first time in his life? One finds quite a 
desire on the part of the critics to be twins at least for 
that evening, but they filled both assignments ably. 



322 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

One of the periodic attempts to make "Tannhauser" 
popular followed, with about as much success as had been 
customary. It was an important event, however, because 
it introduced a superb young German baritone, Heinrich 
Schlusnus, in the part of Wolfram. Schlusnus did not be- 
come as well known as he should have, or as he undoubt- 
edly will in seasons to come, because he was so unusual in 
voice, looks, manner, all the things that go to make up 
an impressive artist, that he was in great demand all over 
the civilized world, and it was only with the greatest diffi- 
culty that he could ever be engaged for more than one or 
two appointments in any one city. All of which is lucky 
for him, but less so for those who would like to know 
him better. 

"Sniegurotchka," translated into English and called 
"Snow Maiden," came up on Saturday afternoon of the 
first week with a cast consisting of Mason, Jackson, Van 
Gordon, Lenska, Hackett, Rimini, Chase Baromeo (de- 
but), a host of others, and with a new ballet headed by 
Vechslav Swoboda and Maria Yurieva, and with Henry 
Weber conducting. It was a list of notables, but again it 
happened that the sparkle of the first season was lacking. 
The piece did not interest and did not draw, and in due 
time it became touched with frost and its bloom faded 
away. 

Next came "Loreley," a queer compound of Rhine 
legend and score in an Italianized Wagnerian manner, 
the whole making something that might have been good 
for the movies some years before. Polacco had attempted 
it during the lifetime of Campanini, at which time it died 
with great promptness. Its life was not much longer on 
this occasion in spite of the fact that Muzio had studied 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 323 

it for presentation in South America and made consider- 
able of a hit with it. She repeated her personal hit here, 
but the opera simply would not do. Perhaps it might have 
gone even then if the composer, Alfredo Catalini, had 
had the idea of putting in a smashing aria or two, but it 
was something that he neglected to do. 

The season went on with pleasant items, revivals of 
"La Gioconda," "Martha," "Falstaff," "The Jewels of 
the Madonna," "Madame Butterfly," "Faust," others of 
the kind. Now that the new opera house was an assured 
fact in the none too distant future, it seemed wiser not to 
look for too many novelties nor to make too much scenery 
in elaborate revivals, since the new stage with its own 
different dimensions would enforce scenery built to its 
own size if new, and cutting down, patching, or even de- 
struction, if old. But Miss Garden was in the offing, also 
the prospects of "Sapho." 

She arrived, announcing that she was in love with 
Lindbergh, having sung "The Star-Spangled Banner" at 
his reception in Paris — and having been obliged to go in 
advance to a library to look up the words. She was also 
in love with Chicago policemen and had a few kind words 
for that "dear fellow," Gene Tunney. Having made the 
headlines, she was now ready for the opera season. 

Her first appearance was in "Monna Vanna," with 
its good libretto and bad score. The two Maeterlinck 
plays with which she has had so much to do in their 
operatic form make a curious contrast. "Monna Vanna" 
projects itself so perfectly that music, even good music 
can be of no help. With "Pelleas et Melisande" the case 
is quite different. In the several times that it was tried 
as a play, it was found that no amount of skill on the 



324 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

part of the actors was ever able to evoke the expected 
''spiritual overtones." This was a case where music had 
to be called upon for assistance, and music did what was 
expected. Of course there is some difference between the 
musical talents of Debussy and Fevrier. 

Miss Garden added "Carmen," "Louise" and "Le 
Jongleur de Notre Dame" to her list of performances, 
meanwhile working on the preparation of "Sapho." It 
finally came into being on January 11, and a good many 
people wondered why. It was a most elaborate produc- 
tion, with a scene of a studio party in the first act that 
would have been labeled an orgy in the movies. Miss 
Garden was a flame of vitality, and the music promptly 
began to contest the place of "Monna Vanna" in the list 
of unimportant operatic scores. Dramatically most of its 
value had died out years before. Musically it was a 
poverty-stricken step-sister of "Werther," with a few 
fleeting resemblances to some of the non-essentials of 
"Thais" and an occasional disturbing caricature of "Le 
Jongleur." And that was about all that was left of 
Massenet when he composed "Sapho," wild and wicked 
as it had seemed when it was new. 

A few nights before, New Year's eve, to be exact, 
the company for the first time in its history had gone in 
for actual operetta. This was Johann Strauss' perennial 
favorite, "The Bat," translated into English, songs, 
spoken dialogue and all, and cast for many notables of 
the company, among them Rosa Raisa, Irene Pavloska, 
Charles Hackett, Forrest Lamont, Jose Mojica, Chase 
Baromeo, and Virgilio Lazzari. Henry Weber conducted. 

It was wonderfully tuneful, it was genuinely amus- 
ing, and it also showed the limitations of opera com- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 32^ 

panies and opera houses when dealing with operettas. 
In the first performance there was more than had ever 
been in "The Bat," for the ballet danced to the music of 
the "Blue Danube," and Toti Dal Monte interpolated 
Benedict's variations on "The Carnival of Venice," the 
only non-Straussian music in the performance. 

But if the audience went into a gale of laughter over 
Miss Raisa's "unfortunate passion for tenors" and Mr. 
Lazzari's abysmal absurdities as the drunken jailer, and 
if it applauded the fine Viennese tunes as tunes had sel- 
dom been applauded in the Auditorium, the performance 
as a whole was too slow. In so large a theater it was com- 
pletely impossible to take up the true, sparkling operetta 
tempo, and this showed more plainly in the dialogue than 
in the music. Also the orchestra, expert in every detail 
of an immense repertoire of grand opera, was completely 
innocent of the rhythmic accent of Viennese dance music. 

At about the same time it was told that transfer of 
the proposed site for the new opera house on Wacker 
drive had been completed, that wrecking the old buildings 
would start at once, and the new building would be 
started early in the spring. In concluding his speech to 
operatic guarantors at the gala performance January 27, 
Mr. Insull said: 

"This work we are engaged in will, I feel, establish 
a monument to the efforts of the Chicago Civic Opera 
Company, and present to this community a heritage that 
means the upbuilding of musical education in this great 
city and the Mississippi valley of which it is the 
metropolis." 

Details, descriptive and financial, and architect's 
drawings flooded the press. The company went on its 



326 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

annual tour, soon to confront what began to look like the 
worst luck in its history. When the company reached 
Detroit, Claudia Muzio's mother was stricken with a 
desperate illness, so serious that Miss Muzio was obliged 
to abandon the tour. In fact she was obliged to stay away 
all the next season, the final year of the company in the 
Auditorium. 

Later in the year, after the tour was over, Toti Dal 
Monte took an engagement in Australia, and in course 
of time cabled back that she had decided to get married, 
and therefore would not be back at the Auditorium. 

And to fill up the tale, Rosa Raisa, having finished 
the tour, was stricken by a desperate illness of her own 
while on board the steamship carrying her to Italy. For 
a time it was said that she would be unable to return, 
but she recovered in time to get back to Chicago after 
the season started. Incidentally she never sang better in 
her life than on this, the last year in the Auditorium. 

The deficit for the semi-final year was $450,000. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

The final season at the Auditorium created a curious 
feeling of unrest, compounded out of many elements. 
There was regret at leaving the venerated home of opera 
where so many famous incidents had taken place, where 
the rare phenomenon of perfect acoustics existed, just as 
Louis H. Sullivan had predicted many years before that 
they would exist, where through many seasons a lot of 
us had come to feel that we were at home. There was 
also the sense of impermanence, of getting ready to move 
out of an old home though into a new and more adequate 
one. 

A considerable step in building for the future as 
well as the present of personnel appeared in the new 
engagements. No less than fourteen singers were added 
to the company, and exactly one-half were Americans. 
It might have been considered a move to quiet those 
who still continue to maintain the foreign domination of 
American artists, were it not that of late years the Civic 
Opera Company has seldom wasted time in such matters. 
Artists continue to be engaged on merit regardless of 
nationality, and foreign languages are kept in the reper- 
toire because the public has so emphatically proved that 
foreign languages are preferred. It may be illogical, but 
the public expresses its feeling by the way it buys tickets. 

The seven new Americans were Hilda Burke, 
Marion Claire, Antonietta Consoli, Alice Mock, and 

327 



328 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Patricia O'Connell, all sopranos, Coe Glade, mezzo- 
soprano, and Barre Hill, baritone. From other parts of 
the world came Frida Leider, German soprano, Maria 
Olszewska, Austrian mezzo-soprano, Margherita Salvi, 
Spanish soprano, Eva Turner, English soprano, Ada 
Paggi, Italian mezzo-soprano, Giuseppe Cavadore, Ital- 
ian tenor, and Ulysses Lappas, Greek tenor, the last 
named having been engaged for a few performances in 
the year of Miss Garden's consulship. The list gives a 
fair idea of how cosmopolitan an opera company of the 
major class may be. 

It should be added that an assistant conductor, 
Mario Giuranna, arrived in the autumn. His labors, like 
those of all assistant conductors, were inaudible to the 
operatic audiences, being confined to rehearsals, but his 
wife turned out to be a composer of considerable merit. 
Among other works, three of her orchestral composi- 
tions were accepted by Frederick Stock and played several 
times during the season by the Chicago Symphony Or- 
chestra to unusual success. 

Another artist of whom considerable had been 
hoped, and who, in spite of his name, was American, 
Michele de Caro, baritone, died in Seattle, his home, 
during the summer of 1928, shortly before he had 
planned to come to Chicago and join the company. 

The season started on Wednesday, October 31, 
amid the customary boom of photographers' flashlight 
powder outside the theater and the glitter of jewels 
inside, presenting Olszewska in the name part of "Car- 
men." If it had been intended as a ruse to attract atten- 
tion, it could not have been more successful, for during 
the greater part of the season there were heated argu- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 329 

ments as to whether she was a great Carmen or not. 

The consensus of opinion settled down into 
an agreement that her Carmen was spanische and not 
quite espagnole. But opinion became unanimous on the 
Sunday afternoon following, when she appeared as 
Ortrud in "Lohengrin." Here she was generally and 
rightly acclaimed as a sensation, an Ortrud such as had 
not been seen on the Auditorium stage since the days 
when Schumann-Heink used to do it years before. Marion 
Claire appeared as Elsa, and with Rene Maison as 
Lohengrin, Robert Ringling as Telramund, Kipnis as 
King Henry, and Howard Preston as the herald, the per- 
formance became a good deal of a standard for other 
German operas, the sort of performance which if per- 
sisted in would have a tendency to make German opera 
popular. It was curious to note that in the dramatic in- 
cident in "Carmen" in which Mme. Olszewska had been 
most notable, the card scene, which she made to stand 
out brilliantly, she made use of the same manner which 
in "Lohengrin" was spread all through the performance. 

Miss Claire's debut, however, was not in "Lohen- 
grin," but in "La Boheme" on the second night of the 
season. It was a very good performance, but the part of 
Mimi is almost, as they say on the dramatic stage, actor- 
proof, and there had been dozens, not to say hundreds 
of good Mimis before her. As Elsa she became consid- 
erably more distinctive. 

Debuts continued. Miss Turner of England came 
on as Ai'da in the like named work on Saturday after- 
noon, to be followed by Miss Mock of California as 
Gilda in "Rigoletto" in the evening, both scoring decisive 
hits, particularly Miss Turner, who disclosed a voice of 



330 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

unusual power and beauty. Two incidents took the 
"Ai'da" performance out of the ordinary. One was that 
the unseen and in this case unnamed priestess who sang 
the temple music behind the scenes turned out to be 
Hilda Burke, who was to make her own technical debut 
in the name part of the same opera a week later. The 
other, a less happy one, was that Ulysses Lappas, in his 
first start after his return, began the part of Radames in 
an able fashion, but lost his voice in the course of the per- 
formance, and ended, one might say, speechless and 
unheard. 

When Miss Burke made her actual Aida appear- 
ance, she was joined by Coe Glade in the part of 
Amneris, and the two young artists made as agreeable 
and at times brilliant impressions as had ever been re- 
corded in the company. Miss Glade was to demonstrate 
a Carmen of her own later in the season, and to prove 
that she had realized many of the possibilities of a very 
fine Carmen indeed. It was to have rather astonishing 
repercussions. One single performance it was, yet in the 
course of a few months she was to receive inquiries about 
it from as far away as Brazil. 

Radio was continuing to show effects. Miss Burke 
the season before had divided the first prize in a nation- 
wide radio contest for young artists with Kathryn Wit- 
wer of Gary, Indiana, and Miss Witwer had been a mem- 
ber of the Civic Opera forces the year before, but at 
the end had decided to go to Europe. Miss Burke's radio 
introduction would seem to have been the means of in- 
troducing her into an audition for opera, where she made 
a place for herself. 

"The Tales of Hoffman" was announced for No- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 33 1 

vember 24 with Vanni-Marcoux singing four distinct 
roles — count 'em — four. But Miss Claire, who was due 
to sing two more, Giulietta and Antonia, woke up with 
a bad throat that morning, "Hoffman" was postponed, 
and Vanni-Marcoux introduced himself in "Boris 
Godunoff." 

But other operatic joys impended. One of them was 
Frida Leider, a soprano of fame in Germany, whose 
American debut made "Die Walkiire" possible. With 
Lamont as Siegmund, Turner as Sieglinde, Kipnis as 
Wotan, Olszewska as Fricka, Leider herself as Briinn- 
hilde, and Polacco conducting, it was a noble perform- 
ance, marred only by such stage incidents as stuttering 
clouds and hissing steam in the last act. But with a new 
opera house in prospect, the deficiencies of the old were 
passed over lightly. 

Another joy was Margherita Salvi, who promptly 
stepped into the affections of the public. Her voice was 
brilliant and flexible with that slightly acidulated tang 
which seems to be the heritage of Spanish sopranos, she 
was pretty, graceful, humorous and stage wise to a degree 
that few operatic artists ever attain. With another stage- 
wise cast, Schipa, Bonelli, Trevisan, Lazzari, and others, 
"The Barber of Seville" was another gorgeous rollic of 
song and mirth. 

"Don Giovanni" went on again, with Leider, Burke, 
and Baromeo as newcomers as welcome as Vanni-Mar- 
coux, Mason, Schipa, Trevisan, and the rest of the de- 
lectable cast that had done it before. Garden returned 
and Raisa got in about the same time. Christmas week 
was a time for operatic jubilee, for on the night before 
the holiday Miss Glade sang her Carmen — what a voice 



332 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

that Carmen had and what a blithe young hussy she was! 
— two nights after it "Der Rosenkavalier" again proved 
that it was one of the company's finest exploits — Leider, 
Mason, Olszewska, Kipnis and Polacco furnished the 
proof — and on New Year's eve Raisa discovered again 
that she had a host of friends when she reappeared in 
the revival of "Norma." 

"Norma" makes terrific demands on the part of the 
artist who sings the name part. That is the reason it is 
so seldom given. It has all that was ever known about 
writing for the coloratura soprano magnified into terms 
of the dramatic soprano, it has melodies of the purest 
bel canto, broad declamation, a range extending from 
middle C to high D, and all spread over four acts of 
opera. It also calls for a singer of dignified, command- 
ing figure. 

Wherefore Miss Raisa stepped into an ovation. 
With such associate artists as Miss Glade, Mr. Marshall, 
and Mr. Lazzari, and with Mr. Polacco intent upon 
pressing the last drop of ecstasy out of Bellini's score, the 
audience saw its duty and did it. Palm beat upon enthusi- 
astic palm, voices rose in high excitement, and roses were 
carried out from behind the scenes until the star was lost 
in them. And Miss Raisa responded by singing her part 
in a voice all velvet and fire. 

It was without a doubt the high spot of the season. 
A novelty was to come, or rather an elaborately staged 
revival of "The Marriage of Figaro," Miss Garden was 
to appear in "Sapho," "The Love of Three Kings," 
"Pelleas et Melisande" and "Judith," Miss Claire and 
Conductor Weber were to be married; this event took 
place on January 21. In fact there were many thrills of 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 333 

varying degrees of intensity for opera goers still due 
before the season closed. But those who were present on 
New Year's eve will not forget the "Norma" perform- 
ance. 

One event was neither announced nor anticipated. It 
had to do with a performance of "The Barber of Seville" 
in which Desire Defrere was the Dr. Bartolo and Rimini 
the Figaro. Defrere is one of the veterans of the com- 
pany, able to take any one of dozens of baritone parts at 
short notice, a competent stage manager and an inveterate 
practical joker. It was he who on one occasion poured 
water into Colline's top hat in a performance of "La 
Boheme," and thereby caused Edouard Cotreuil, who was 
playing the part, to drench himself when he donned it. 

After several such exploits, revenge was plotted and 
executed. Those who go to opera will remember the inci- 
dent near the end of the second act of "The Barber" 
where Dr. Bartolo is stricken speechless and immovable 
by the thump of the soldiers' guns on the floor. He is 
awakened later, usually by tickling him on the nose with 
a feather, which provokes a vigorous stage sneeze. This 
night Rimini, instead of using the feather, gave Defrere 
a pinch of pepper in the nostrils, and the unprecedented 
fit of real sneezes and coughs that followed is said to 
have made the footlights flicker in sympathy. 

"The Marriage of Figaro," produced on January 3, 
was another effort, like that of "Don Giovanni," to stage 
a classical opera in modernistic garb. It was fantastic to 
a degree, with a built-in proscenium, color clashing upon 
color, lines that led everywhere and nowhere, in fact 
stylized rococo carried to the point of madness. 

There is a suspicion that they did protest too much. 



334 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

The courtly, aristocratic comedy of Mozart began to 
turn into a good bit of a farce; the clashes of color in 
scenery and costumes simply did not fit Mozart's elegant 
simplicity of music. Subtlety was entirely lost. This man- 
ner of performance may be accepted in the future and 
may not. But in its first season it scored only a half- 
success. Turner, Mason, Claire, Claessens, Bonelli, 
Lazzari, Trevisan, Mojica and several others were in 
the cast, and Weber conducted. 

At length the time came to give the last performance 
in the old theater. It was "Romeo and Juliet," the same 
work with which the Auditorium had been opened nearly 
forty years before. You will find the final cast, in fact 
both casts, on the first page of this volume. It was a 
combination of business and sentiment in performance. 
The last cast must catch the train and join the rest of the 
company in Boston. Yet there was a sigh as well as a 
smile over leaving the scene of many historic events. 
Miss Mason and Mr. Hackett sang their loveliest, and 
in one of the entr'actes Mr. Polacco signaled the orches- 
tra, which played "Home, Sweet Home," and "Auld 
Lang Syne," the nearest approach to the recall of Patti. 
The house rose to its feet, and some of the spectators, 
including Miss Garden, sang as many words as they could 
remember. 

Then outside, to see trucks hastily hauling scenery 
to the railroad station. 




A View of the Interior of the New Civic Opera House Taken 
from the First Row of Seats on the Main Floor and Show- 
ing the Seating Arrangement of the Main Floor, Box 
Floor, and Two Balconies 




Photos by Chicago Architectural Photographing Co. 



The Steel Curtain, Proscenium Arch and Orchestra Pit of the 
New Civic Opera House 



CHAPTER XXXV 

What's to come? The future is on the lap of the 
gods, but every prospect is of the most favorable sort. 

The new opera house is a dream of Mr. Insull's, a 
dream realized in terms of steel and stonework. In 
entering it the opera company sloughs off a chrysalis and 
steps into new and gorgeous trappings. It has taken time, 
immense amounts of money, prolonged and intense con- 
centration, but Mr. Insull is the kind of a dreamer whose 
dreams come true, a poet who does not write verse but 
accomplishes enormous and beautiful things for the better- 
ment of his community and nation. 

Work on Twenty Wacker Drive, the official name 
of the new structure, began on a drawing board as far 
back as 1925, when it was realized that the Auditorium 
sooner or later must be abandoned. 

At the time these words are being written, the new 
building is still in process of construction. On this account 
some of the statements made here must be based upon 
earlier, though authoritative statements sent out by the 
proponents of the plan. 

The new theater will seat 3,472, or 112 less than 
the Auditorium. At the same time there will be fewer 
boxes, thirty-one instead of fifty-six. The main floor will 
seat 1,682 as against the 959 of the Auditorium. 

The main body of the structure, which combines the 
"monumental" character associated with the great opera 

335 



336 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

houses of the world with the practical necessities of the 
Chicago situation, is of twenty-one stories, rising 270 
feet from the street level. It has a frontage of 400 feet 
on Wacker Drive, 180 feet on Madison street, 150 feet 
on Washington street. In addition there is a tower of 
twenty-one floors more, forty-two in all, its top looking 
down 550 feet to the street. 

The building is U-shaped, with front and sides 
occupied by shops and stores. The side portions, or wings, 
embrace the opera house. A small theater, seating 878 
and intended for concert, theatrical production, ballet, 
and intimate performances generally, is also included. 

Both the opera house and the theater embody the 
results of intensive study and research on a scale prob- 
ably never before applied to similar undertakings. It is 
the hope of all concerned that in completeness, in per- 
fection of detail, in adjustment to the purposes to be 
served, both will prove to be far ahead of any other now 
in existence. 

As it was Mr. Insull's idea that in course of time 
the building will take the burden of paying for opera 
from the shoulders of the guarantors, provision is made 
for 739,600 square feet of rentable space, something like 
fifteen acres, in addition to that required by the two 
theaters. 577,600 square feet are in the main building, 
162,000 more in the tower, with light and air on all sides 
and served by twenty-six high-speed elevators. 

It is not to be expected that completion and occu- 
pancy of the building will at once dispense with the ne- 
cessity of a guaranty fund for maintaining the opera com- 
pany. But the financing of opera should be made some- 
what easier when the building is finished and fully ten- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 337 

anted. Eventually Mr. Insull believes that the revenue 
from the building will serve in effect as an endowment, 
providing a home for the opera and paying its inevitable 
deficits. 

Study of details which should be and could be in- 
corporated into the building was begun soon after the 
end of the 1926-27 season. A committee went abroad to 
study the latest developments in opera house and theater 
design and equipment there as well as in the United 
States. Its members were Ernest Graham and Alfred 
Shaw of the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and 
White, architects of the new building; Herbert M. John- 
son, business manager of the opera company; Harry W. 
Beatty, technical director; Charles Moor, stage director; 
and Edward H. Moore, chief electrician. 

An impressive colonnade runs along practically the 
entire Wacker Drive frontage of the building. Here 
thirty-five to forty automobiles can be discharged at a 
time. Whatever the means of approach, by motor, by 
street car, or on foot, patrons will arrive first under this 
great colonnade which will be a protection from inclement 
weather, and from it enter the various lobbies and foyers 
connected with all floors of the opera house. The opera 
entrance is at the south end of the colonnade, the entrance 
to the smaller theater at the north. 

From the grand foyer at the level of the parquet a 
grand staircase leads to the mezzanine lounge at the rear 
of the boxes. Separate stairs rise from the main lounge 
to the balconies, and there are additional stairs for con- 
venient and ample access from all parts of the auditorium. 
Special elevator service to the balconies is also at hand. 

The thirty-one boxes are in a double tier at the rear, 



338 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

side boxes having been abolished. Above the box floor 
there is a dress circle and balcony and above that an 
upper balcony, each with approximately 800 seats. 

It is the belief of all concerned that this auditorium 
is the first in the world in which the combined problems 
of proper vision and perfect acoustics have been worked 
out as one and then carried out on a large scale. The two 
problems were worked out together and each made to fit 
the other. In the operation, the architects drew upon the 
experience and knowledge of the foremost dozen or fif- 
teen men in all the world who have made a study of 
acoustics. 

The opera auditorium, the smaller theater, and the 
foyers of both are supplied with cool washed air from 
a combined cooling and ventilating system, so that at all 
times of the year a comfortable temperature can always 
be maintained. Similar completeness and perfection of 
detail have been in mind in planning the back stage fea- 
tures. The best features and the latest developments 
found in all the theaters and opera houses examined dur- 
ing the committee's investigating tour have been combined 
in the plans for Chicago. 

The height of the stage and its mechanical equip- 
ment permit the establishment of a fixed cyclorama. Drops 
can be changed and scenes shifted more quickly than it 
has ever been done anywhere else. The stage lighting 
equipment marks a similar advance. 

In fact the whole idea has been to preserve the fine 
features of the old Auditorium, while adding to them 
every idea that will add to the quality of the new achieve- 
ment both before and behind the footlights. 

One feature of special interest is the synchroniza- 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 339 

tion of light control with the work of the prompter during 
a performance. The prompter's box, that hooded struc- 
ture that rises a bit from the stage floor down near the 
footlights, has been made large enough to house not only 
the prompter but the man in control of the lights. During 
a performance the two work side by side and together, 
the light control man making instant change on exact 
cues by means of a system of switches. 

The opera house is able to provide storage space 
for scenery, properties, and all the equipment necessary 
for an entire season of opera. This provision, in conjunc- 
tion with the shops and warehouses of the company, 
gives to the organization facilities far beyond those of 
any similar organization in the world. 

Ample rehearsal facilities have also been provided, 
and on a similarly farsighted scale, for individuals, 
groups, chorus, orchestra, ballet, and complete ensembles. 
It is possible, for instance, to put on a complete rehearsal 
for a new performance, a complete production with every 
individual in his place just as it will be presented on the 
stage, without actually using the stage which may be 
occupied at the time by other activities. 

The officers and directors of the Twenty Wacker 
Drive Corporation, which has built and now directs, 
operates, and owns the enterprise, are thus named: 

President, Samuel Insull; vice-president, Stanley 
Field; treasurer, Herbert M. Johnson; secretary, John 
W. Evers; directors, Samuel Insull, Stanley Field, Samuel 
Insull, Jr., John F. Gilchrist, George F. Mitchell, and 
Herman Waldeck. 

It is one thing to conceive such an undertaking, an- 
other to pay for it. The financing of the huge under- 



34-0 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

taking is another bit of farseeing imagination, fit, as 
Ko-Ko says in "The Mikado," to rank with most ro- 
mances. 

Twenty million dollars was required, and $20,000,000 
was obtained at a cost told by Mr. Insull, after figuring 
interest, commissions, and all charges, of 5.84 per cent. 
When it is added that various large building operations 
in Chicago have cost over 7 per cent, one can see how 
carefully everything has been estimated. 

Half of the sum, $10,000,000, was borrowed from 
the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company at 5 per cent, 
the company taking a mortgage on the property and 
holding the bond issue. For the rest 100,000 shares of 
6 per cent preferred stock was issued by the corporation 
and underwritten by eight banking and investment 
houses. These were subsequently passed on to the public 
and absorbed by it. 

"These financial arrangements," explained Mr. 
Insull, "contemplate the employment of 'customer-owner- 
ship' principles and practice — the first time, so far as 
I know, that customer-ownership has been applied to a 
commercial and office-building enterprise." 

Finally, the common stock of the building, in which 
final control and ownership of the enterprise is vested, 
is deposited in a perpetual trust, and the administering 
trustees are the officers and directors of the corporation 
to whom reference has just been made. 

The next task will be to pay off the building's in- 
debtedness, and that, too, has been estimated with a care 
that makes its reading a delight. The Civic Opera Com- 
pany will pay a rental of $180,000 a year, the smaller 
theater $70,000 more. The rental of office space, shops, 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 34 1 

lobby concessions, and the like, will bring the estimated 
revenue to a total of $2,476,700 a year. Operating ex- 
penses and taxes are estimated at $1,013,700 a year, 
leaving a net income of $1,463,000 to meet fixed charges. 

Of this $500,000 goes as interest on the $10,000,000 
loan, and $600,000 more as dividends on the preferred 
stock. There is still some money left to begin the retire- 
ment of the mortgage, and under the terms of the loan, 
$300,000 a year must be applied to that purpose begin- 
ning two years after the completion of the building. 
The preferred stock will also be called and retired by 
degrees. The announcement states that it is callable in 
part or in whole on thirty days' notice on or before 
January 15, 1933, at $107.50 a share, from then until 
January 15, 1940, at $105 a share, and thereafter at 
$102 a share. 

Practically nothing has been left to chance. While, 
as Mr. Insull explains, there must be a guarantors' list 
for a number of years to come, the call upon them will 
grow gradually less. Sooner or later this great debt will 
pay itself off, sooner or later a large income from an 
immense building will become available to the trust fund 
common stock, and from there to the opera company. 

Opera from the beginning has cost more than it 
earned. In the beginning its costs were met by kings, 
emperors, grand dukes, rulers of cities, and cities and 
countries themselves. Later they were met by citizens 
of more than common wealth; the experience of Mr. and 
Mrs. McCormick during the last years of the Chicago 
Opera Association was an example of this procedure. 
The Civic Opera Company began its operations with a 



342 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

list of guarantors to meet its expenses, it will end with 
a building whose income will take care of everything. 

It is a prospect to make one pause and wonder. 
What Mr. Insull and his associates have accomplished 
has been more than the construction of a mighty building 
and the security of one of the world's great opera com- 
panies. In reality they have written an enormous civic 
poem, conceived, developed, made manifest in terms of 
beauty and imagination, going to the mental, emotional, 
spiritual well-being of their own generation and genera- 
tions to come. No greater work of art was ever imagined, 
and they were the artists. 

And so, as the Civic Opera of Chicago goes into its 
new home, this account bids it a cordial and optimistic 
farewell. 



POSTSCRIPT 
"AIDA" 

Opera in four acts and seven scenes. Libretto by 
Antonio Ghislanzoni. Music by Giuseppe Verdi. 
Presented in dedication of the new Civic Opera 
House, 20 Wacker Drive, by the Civic Opera 
Company, Monday evening, November 4, 1929. 

THE CAST 

The King of Egypt Chase Baromeo 

Amneris, his daughter Cyrena Van Gordon 

Radames, captain of the guard . . Charles Marshall 

Aida, an Ethiopian slave Rosa Raisa 

Ramfis, high priest Virgilio Lazzari 

Amonasro, King of Ethiopia. . . .Cesare Formichi 

Priestess Hilda Burke 

A Messenger Giuseppe Cavadore 

Incidental dances in Act II: 

Scene i — By Misses Arrowsmith, Coffey, Dee, 
Haller, Laundy, Napier, Park, Perrot, Salisky, 
Shott. 

Scene 2 — By Laurent Novikoff, Ruth Pryor, 
Julia Barashkova, and Edward Caton, assisted 
by the Misses Harriet Lundgren, Bradshaw, 
Crofton, Smith and the Ballet. 

Conductor Giorgio Polacco 

Stage Director Charles Moor 

343 



344 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Since the last words of the preceding chapter were 
written, it has been permitted to reopen the forms and 
record the fact that Mr. Insull's dream of opera came 
true with a degree of magnificence hardly anticipated 
even by those who had been most hopeful over the enter- 
prise. 

As is seen above, the first performance in the new 
house was "ATda." Just as the Chicago Grand Opera 
Company had opened nineteen years ago, just as the 
Civic Opera Company had given its first performance 
seven years ago, just as an infinite number of opera sea- 
sons during the past half-century had opened, the per- 
formance was "ATda." This time, however, ATda," with 
all its opulence of music and lavishness of display, was 
not the important feature of the evening. The opera 
took second place to the opera house. 

In fact during all the first week, as the first seven 
audiences took their places considerably more attention 
was paid to the new home of opera, its structure, its 
scheme of decoration, in certain cases its acoustics, than 
to the actual proceedings on the stage. It was not until 
patrons came to make their second or third visit to the 
opera house that they began to come to a realizing sense 
of the actual opera season. In all conscience, there was 
plenty to observe besides the performances. 

The building stands on historic ground. Only a few 
feet to the north, and hardly one hundred years before 
had stood the Sauganash Hotel, the first place of ac- 
commodation for man and beast in all Chicago. By i860 
the Sauganash had disappeared, and on its site was 
erected the old Wigwam, wherein the Republican party 
nominated Abraham Lincoln as its candidate for the 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 345 

presidency of the United States. One reads in the earlier 
records of how the wolves used to howl around the spot, 
of how easy it used to be to go out in the swamp land 
thereabouts with a shotgun and come back laden with 
ducks, geese, snipe, woodcock, not to mention the multi- 
tude of game that existed in the higher and drier prairie 
land. 

From a hunter's paradise to an operatic center in 
less than ten decades ! It is a concrete symbol of the 
marvel that is Chicago, the greater marvel that is Amer- 
ica. And so on the day before the opening, November 3, 
the Huntington (West Virginia) Herald Dispatch was 
disagreeable enough to announce the event under the head- 
ing, "Chicago Abandons Bombs and Turns Opera- 
Minded." 

When the first audience came, it found a rose- 
colored grotto at the base of a forty-five story, twenty 
million dollar structure, whose rentals are to sustain 
opera in perpetuity. It was splendid. It was dignified. It 
contained the most scientifically constructed stage in the 
world, not even forgetting Baireuth. Within the house 
were miracles of color and line. Back on the stage were 
other miracles of mechanism. 

What actually happens on the stage is necessarily 
a secret to the audience, but a few days before the open- 
ing a chosen few of us were invited to inspect the house 
thoroughly, front and back, Mr. Insull taking special 
pride in acting as guide. Then and there we learned about 
some of the triumphs of machinery, the elevator, seventy- 
five feet long, that silently deposited back drops in 
storage racks thirty-five feet below the stage, the devices 
that raised the stage in whole or in part, the gridiron 



346 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

for the changing of scenery that ran 140 feet above the 
stage — up to the level of the fourteenth floor of the 
building. Everything was beautiful, everything was spa- 
cious, everything was ingenious beyond all telling. 

Out in the front of the house one was greeted by a 
lofty foyer of travertine aglow with rose and gold. One 
stepped into the house, again rose and gold, old rose and 
gold leaf, with every angle and every line leading the 
spectator's eye to the stage opening, its steel firecurtain 
marching across the vision with a pageant of some forty 
heroes and heroines of opera. One sank into his seat 
and found comfort, safety, good acoustics, good vision, 
gracious surroundings. 

Perhaps a line or two of statistics may not be amiss 
here. At 6.30 o'clock on November 4, lights flamed from 
the fifty-five great bronze lanterns and lamps that hung 
above the 365 feet of colonnade of the opera house. 
People came early that night, and long before the cur- 
tain was ready to go up nearly every one was there. 
When they were all seated there were 3,471 persons in 
the house, representing an intake of $16,500, and a com- 
pany of 580 artists and mechanicians was engaged in 
presenting "Aida." Of these 3,471, 1,682 were on the 
main floor in thirty-nine rows. Here twenty-six rows cost 
$6 a seat and the remaining thirteen $5 a seat. The rest 
of the audience were in the boxes, thirty-one boxes, the 
dress circle, and the balcony. 

Climbing aloft to the upper part of the house — 
those who preferred could take elevators — it was found 
that the same care for the comfort of patrons had been 
taken as on the main floor. The seats were just as com- 
modious, just as deeply upholstered, just the same color 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 347 

— though not quite of the same rich materials — as those 
below. The pitch of the floors was humane. There was 
none of the feeling that if one were unfortunate enough 
to stumble he would fly through the air and land on the 
stage hundreds of feet below. And while there a test 
of the acoustics was made which tended to prove that 
acoustics was no longer an accident but a science. 

A voice speaking in the tone of an ordinary tele- 
phone conversation carried from the stage to the top 
row of the gallery. During the later opera performances 
it was found that this was no isolated instance. The Civic 
Opera House is kind to the voices of its singers, and 
particularly kind to the orchestra. 

Here there was something else to be considered, 
for the orchestra pit is considerably wider than most pits. 
If necessary, it can accommodate a band of 120 players, 
and they are all concealed from the sight of the audience. 
The floor of the pit can likewise be raised or lowered on 
demand and according to the exigencies of the occasion. 
Being floored and backed with hard wood, it was found 
that the orchestra sits in the midst of a marvelous sound- 
ing board, or resonator, and the orchestral tones come 
through to the audience with a richness that surpassed 
even that of the wonderful old Auditorium. 

In fact it was an uncommonly interesting, one might 
almost say astonishing, experience. In feet and inches the 
dimensions of the house, its length particularly, are huge. 
Yet by its every line leading stageward, its incessant, 
serene blending of old rose and gold, it had an extraor- 
dinary effect of intimacy. For its lines one was willing 
to give three cheers for the firm of Graham, Anderson, 
Probst & White, architects. For its colorings, other 



348 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

cheers went to Jules Guerin. He, by the way, worked all 
summer on the decorations, pronounced himself satisfied 
with the effect, and left Chicago before the opening of 
the house, saying that being satisfied, he had not the 
slightest interest in what other people might say about it. 

So on the first night there were two pageants, one 
on each side of the footlights. Only once in a great while 
is an audience privileged to be present at such an event. 
As a matter of fact the actual performance was one in 
which to take pride under any circumstances. It just hap- 
pened that its glories were a bit obscured by the opening 
of the opera house. 

For the sake of the record, what each successive 
audience of the first week after "A'ida" saw is here sum- 
marized. 

Tuesday, November 5 — "Iris," with book by 
Luigi Illica and music by Pietro Mascagni. 

Cieco, a blind man Virgilio Lazzari 

Iris, his daughter Edith Mason 

Osaka, a rich young man Antonio Cortis 

Kyoto, keeper of a resort Giacomo Rimini 

A geisha Hilda Burke 

A peddler Lodovico Oliviero 

t, .. , f Giuseppe Cavadore 

J wo rag pickers J . o , • • 

l^rLugemo bandnni 

Incidental dances by Edward Caton, Misses 
Smith and Zarin. 

Conductor Roberto Moranzoni 

Wednesday, November 6 — "La Traviata," by 
Verdi. 

Violetta Valery Claudia Muzio 

Flora Bervoix Alice d'Hermanoy 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 349 

Alfredo Germont Charles Hackett 

Giorgio Germont, his father .... Richard Bonelli 
Gaston, Viscount of Letorieres. .Lodovico Oliviero 

Baron Douphal Desire Defrere 

Marquis D'Obigny Eugenic. Sandrini 

Doctor Grenvil Antonio Nicolich 

Annina, servant to Violetta Anna Correnti 

Servant to Flora Gildo Morelato 

Incidental dances by Edward Caton, Julia 
Barashkova and Ballet. 
Conductor Roberto Moranzoni 

Thursday, November 7 — "Romeo and Juliet," 
by Gounod. 

Capulet, a Veronese noble Cesare Formichi 

Juliet, his daughter Mary McCormic 

Tybalt, his nephew Theodore Ritch 

Romeo, a Montague Rene Maison 

Mercutio, friend of Romeo Desire Defrere 

Stephano, page of Romeo Irene Pavloska 

Duke of Verona Antonio Nicolich 

Friar Lawrence Edouard Cotreuil 

Gertrude, Juliet's nurse Maria Claessens 

Gregorio, servant to Capulet Eugenio Sandrini 

Conductor Emil Cooper (debut) 

Saturday afternoon, November 9 — "Tristan und 
Isolde," by Wagner. 

Tristan Theodore Strack (debut) 

King Mark Alexander Kipnis 

Isolde Frida Leider 

Kurvenal Richard Bonelli 

Melot Desire Defrere 

Brangaene Maria Olszewska 

A shepherd Giuseppe Cavadore 



350 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

The helmsman Antonio Nicolich 

A sailor s voice Giuseppe Cavadore 

Conductor Egon Pollak 

Saturday night, November 9 — "II Trovatore," 
by Verdi. 

Leonora Claudia Muzio 

Inez, her attendant Alice d'Hermanoy 

Count of Luna Giacomo Rimini 

Manrico Antonio Cortis 

Azucena Cyrena Van Gordon 

Ferrando Virgilio Lazzari 

Ruiz Lodovicn Oliviero 

An old gipsy Eugenio Sandrini 

Conductor Roberto Moranzoni 

Sunday afternoon, November 10 — "Norma," by 
Bellini. 

Pollione, Roman Proconsul. . . .Charles Marshall 

Oroveso, chief of druids Chase Baromeo 

Norma, his daughter Rosa Raisa 

Adalgisa, a priestess Coe Glade 

Clotilde, confidante of Norma. Alice d'Hermanoy 
Flavius, friend of Pollione ... .Lodovico Oliviero 

Conductor Emil Cooper 

Some of the artists of this season were not assigned 
to the first week and a few had not reached Chicago at 
that time. Some, like Hallie Stiles and Giovanni Inghil- 
leri, were ill, though they both made successful debuts 
later. But in general the first week's list showed a cross 
section of the company, even to the extent that a few 
had passed the turn of the wheel and were beginning to 
repeat. 






< « 






U 




U 



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FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 35 1 

Emil Cooper, of Russian birth, was new among the 
conductors. Egon Pollak, German, returned to Chicago 
after an absence of nearly thirteen years. They, together 
with Frank St. Leger, also returning after several sea- 
sons' absence, added to Director Polacco and Mr. 
Moranzoni, of continuing service, made up what was 
universally acknowledged to be the strongest staff of 
conductors that the Chicago Opera had ever possessed. 

"Iris" was the first novelty of the season. It had 
not been heard in Chicago since the time that the city 
took its operatic service from visits by the Metropolitan 
Opera Company, With its Japanese locale, some un- 
usually pictorial settings, and some unusually effective 
music for Miss Mason's voice, it became an interesting 
addition to the repertoire. 

Incidentally, one of the greatest reasons for rejoic- 
ing over the new opera house was its stage lighting sys- 
tem. With this, marvels began to be worked. Lights 
could be directed to any spot from any angle, and at 
once, with the result that old scenery became trans- 
formed, new scenery appeared lovely beyond all telling, 
and light changes were made directly on the cue instead 
of waiting an appreciable time thereafter. They used to 
do the best that they could in the Auditorium, but in the 
Civic Opera House their best became enormously better. 

There was no speech making at the dedication of 
the house. This in itself was an astonishing innovation. 
For decades past it had always been the custom to in- 
augurate a new undertaking with a flow of language, and 
seldom was to be found the person who did not feel de- 
lighted at the chance to talk, less often yet the audience 
that was not profoundly bored. 



352 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Mr. Insull was more humane. He forbade any one 
to talk. Instead, he wrote a few words which he de- 
scribed as the speech he might have made, but which he 
gave to the newspapers and the opera programs. This 
is its keynote : 

"Merely to build a beautiful house and give it the 
best equipment possible was not the fundamental idea 
of this undertaking. That idea was, and still is, to give 
opera an abiding place in Chicago, and, through the 
Chicago Music Foundation, the organization of which 
has already been announced, to train and educate men 
and women for the production of opera and thereby make 
Chicago a music center worthy of its place in the world's 
affairs. 

"As has also been announced, the new opera house 
is now the property of the foundation as a gift, and al- 
ready the absorption of the debt upon the property has 
begun. Already a group consisting of Messrs. Stanley 
Field, Ernest R. Graham, Edward F. Swift, Donald R. 
McLennan, Bernard A. Eckhart, C. Ward Seabury, Mrs. 
Insull, my son, and myself have placed 3,750 shares of 
preferred stock ($375,000) at the disposal of the 
trustees of the foundation, and 2,000 other shares have 
also been placed at the disposal of the corporation, a 
total of more than half a million dollars, to be used in 
wiping out the obligations of the building." 

Once again there is reason to look at the future with 
hope. 



APPENDIX 

A statistical resume of The Chicago Grand Opera 
Company, The Chicago Opera Association and The 
Chicago Civic Opera Company's performances, Nov. 3, 
1910, to March 26, 1929 : 



THE CHICAGO COMPANIES AT HOME 
(Works presented in Chicago and total performances to March 26, 1929) 

60 Italian 



Af ricana, L' 3 

Aida 65 

Amore dei Tre Re, L' 19 

Andrea Chenier 11 

Barber of Seville, The 37 

Boheme, La 43 

Boris Godunoff 13 

Cavalleria Rusticana 46 

Cene della Beffe, La 3 

Conchita 1 

Crispino e la Comare * 2 

Cristoforo Colombo 2 

Daughter of the Regiment, The 3 

Dinorah 8 

Edipo Re 3 

Elisir d'Amore, L' 9 

Ernani 2 

Falstaff 7 

Fedora 6 

Forza del Destino, La 4 

Fra Diavolo 2 

Francesca da Rimini 4 

Gianni Schicchi 10 

Gioconda, La 15 

Giovanni, Don 8 

Girl of the Golden West, The 8 

Hamlet 2 



Huguenots, The 3 

Isabeau 6 

Jacquerie 3 

Jewels of the Madonna, The 41 

Jewess, The 16 

Linda di Chamounix 8 

Loreley 6 

Lovers' Quarrel, A 4 

Lucia di Lammermoor 39 

Madame Butterfly 46 

Maestro di Capella, II 1 

Manon Lescaut 6 

Marriage of Figaro, The .... 5 

Martha 22 

Masked Ball, A 13 

Mefistofele 12 

Mignon 1 

Namiko San 3 

Nave, La 2 

Norma 4 

Otello 21 

Pagliacci, I 54 

Pasquale, Don 3 

Rigoletto 55 

Secret of Suzanne, The 8 

Sonnambula, La 9 

Suor Angelica 3 



* One special performance in Chicago at the close of the 1913 tour — 
April 21. 

353 



354 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



60 Italian (Cont'd) 

Tabarro, II 3 Zaza .... 

Tosca, La 52 Zingari, I 

Traviata, La 45 

Trovatore, II 40 

41 French 



873 



Aphrodite 1 

Carmen 67 

Cendrillon 10 

Chemineau, Le 5 

Cleopatre 7 

Dej anire 2 

Faust 38 

Gismonda 2 

Griselidis 2 

Herodiade 10 

Heure Espagnol, L' 1 

Jongleur de Notre Dame, Le.. 23 

Judith 4 

Lakme 16 

Louise 27 

Love for Three Oranges 2 

Madame Chrysantheme 2 

Manon 16 

Mignon 8 

Monna Vanna 19 

Navarraise, La 2 



Noel 2 

Pearl Fishers, The 4 

Pelleas and Melisande 13 

Prophete, Le 4 

Quichotte, Don 4 

Quo Vadis 4 

Ranz des Vaches, Le 2 

Resurrection 9 

Romeo and Juliet 25 

Salome 4 

Samson and Delilah 28 

Sapho 7 

Sauteriot, Le 1 

Snowmaiden, The 9 

Tales of Hoffman 22 

Tell, William 2 

Thai's 33 

Traviata, La 1 

Vieil Aigle, Le 2 

Werther 9 



jo German 



449 



Gotterdammerung 2 

Konigskinder 7 

Lohengrin 17 

Parsifal 8 

Rheingold, Das 2 

Rosenkavalier, Der 9 



Siegfried 4 

Tannhauser 19 

Tristan and Isolde 11 

Walkure, Die 25 

104 



Azora 3 

Cricket on the Hearth 5 

Daughter of the Forest 1 

Fledermaus, Die 3 

Hansel and Gretel 22 

Light from St. Agnes, A 1 

Lohengrin 3 

Lovers' Knot, A I 

Lovers' Quarrel, A 4 



77 English 

Madeleine 2 

Martha 1 

Natoma 6 

Rip Van Winkle 3 

Snowbird, The 2 

Snowmaiden, The 3 

Tiefland 3 



63 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 355 

SEASON 1910-1911— CHICAGO GRAND OPERA COMPANY 
Board of Directors 

Frederick W. Bode Harold F. McCormick 

R. T. Crane, Jr. John J. Mitchell 

Charles G. Dawes Ira N. Morris 

Robert Goelet La Verne W. Noyes 

George J. Gould Max Pam 

Frank Gray Griswold Julius Rosenwald 

Frederick T. Haskell John C. Shaffer 

Charles L. Hutchinson John G. Shedd 

Otto H. Kahn Charles A. Stevens 

Philip M. Lydig Harry Payne Whitney 

Clarence H. Mackay H. Rogers Winthrop 

Executive Committee 

Clarence H. Mackay, Chairman John C. Shaffer, Vice-Chairman 

Otto H. Kahn Julius Rosenwald 

Philip M. Lydig Harry Payne Whitney 

Charles G. Dawes H. Rogers Winthrop 

John G. Shedd 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Otto H. Kahn Vice-President 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Philip M. Lydig Secretary 

Andreas Dippel General Manager 

Cleofonte Campanini General Musical Director 

Bernhard Ulrich Business Manager 

Conductors Premiere Danseuse 

Campanini, Cleofonte Zanini, Ester 
Charlier, Marcel 

Parelli, Attilio Assistant Conductor 

Perosio, Ettore Rosenstein, Arthur 

Stage Director Technical Director 

Almanz, Fernand Bairstow, William H. 

Stage Manager Scenic Artist 

Engel, Joseph C. Meisener, Karl 

Muzio, Carlo, Assistant 

Katzman, Sam, Assistant Orchestra Manager 

Raffaelli, Joseph 
Chorus Master 

Nepoti, Pietro Season 

Thursday, November 3rd, to 
Ballet Master Wednesday, January 18th, 1911. 

Albertieri, Luigi 63 performances 



356 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



i Gala performance 
8 Campanini Sunday concerts 
i Sunday Song Recital 
21 Operas 

Sopranos 

Cavan, Marie 
Dumesnil, Suzanne 
Egener, Minnie 
Farrar, Geraldine 
Gadski, Johanna 
Garden, Mary 
Grenville, Lillian 
Korolewicz, Jeanne 
La Salle Rabinoff, Marie 
Lipkowska, Lydia 
Melba, Nellie 
Melis, Carmen 
Osborn-Hannah, Jane 
Riegelman, Mabel 
Scalfaro, Serafina 
Sylva, Marguerite 
White, Carolina 
Zeppilli, Alice 

Contraltos 

Bressler-Gianoli, Clotilde 

De Angelo, Tina 

De Cisneros, Eleanora 

Giaconia, Giuseppina 

Olitzka, Rosa 

Pattini, Ferrari 

Walker, Marion 



Ai'da 5 

La Boheme 3 

Cavalleria Rusticana 4 

The Girl of the Golden West 5 

Lucia di Lammermoor 1 

Madame Butterfly 3 

A Masked Ball 1 



Tenors 
Bassi, Amadeo 
Caruso, Enrico 
Constantino, Florencio 
Dalmores, Charles 
Delparte, Jean 
Daddi, Francesco 
Guardabassi, Mario 
McCormack, John 
Venturini, Emilio 
Warnery, Edmond 
Zerola, Nicolo 
Zucchi, Dante 

Baritones 

Beck, William 
Costa, Alfredo 
Crabbe, Armand 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Fossetta, Nicolo 
Renaud, Maurice 
Sammarco, Mario 
Scotti, Antonio 

Bassos 

Angelis, Nazzareno De 
Arimondi, Vittorio 
Berardi, Berardo 
Huberdeau, Gustave 
Malatesta, Pompilio 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Sampieri, Michele 

14 Italian 

Otello 

I Pagliacci 

Rigoletto 

La Tosca 

La Traviata 

II Trovatore 

Gli Ugonotti 



Carmen 3 

Faust 3 

Louise 4 

Pelleas and Melisande 4 



7 French 

Salome 

The Tales of Hoffman 
Thais 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 357 

SEASON 1911-1912— CHICAGO GRAND OPERA COMPANY 

Board of Directors 

Frederick Bode Harold F. McCormick 

H. M. Byllesby John J. Mitchell 

R. T. Crane, Jr. Ira N. Morris 

Charles G. Dawes La Verne W. Noyes 

Robert Goelet Max Pam 

George J. Gould George F. Porter 

Frank Gray Griswold Julius Rosenwald 

Frederick T. Haskell John C. Shaffer 

Charles L. Hutchinson John G. Shedd 

Otto H. Kahn Charles A. Stevens 

Philip M. Lydig F. D. Stout 

Clarence H. Mackay Harry Payne Whitney 
H. Rogers Winthrop 

Executive Committee 

Philip M. Lydig, Chairman Clarence H. Mackay 

John C. Shaffer, Vice-Chairman Harold F. McCormick 

R. T. Crane, Jr. La Verne W. Noyes 

Charles G. Dawes Max Pam 

Robert Goelet John G. Shedd 

Frank Gray Griswold Harry Payne Whitney 

Otto H. Kahn H. Rogers Winthrop 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Otto H. Kahn Vice-President 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

George F. Porter Secretary 

Andreas Dippel General Manager 

Cleofonte Campanini General Musical Director 

Bernhard Ulrich Business Manager 

Conductors Ballet Master 
Campanini, Cleofonte Albertieri, Luigi 

Charlier, Marcel 

Parelli, Attilio Premiere Danseuse 
Perosio, Ettore Galli, Rosina 

Stage Director 

Almanz, Fernand Technical Director 

Bairstow, William H. 
Stage Manager 

Enge.l, J° se P h C - . Scenic Artist 

Muz,o, Carlo, Assistant MacDonald, Julian L. 

Katzman, Sam, Assistant 

Chorus Master Orchestra Manager 

Nepoti, Pietro Raffaelli, Joseph 



358 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Season 

Wednesday, November 22nd, 

191 1, to Thursday, February ist, 

1912. 

72 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 
1 Ballet Divertissement 
6 Campanini Sunday Concerts 
1 Song Recital 

24 Operas 

Sopranos 

Cavan, Marie 
Dufau, Jennie 
Egener, Minnie 
Eversman, Alice 
Frease-Green, Rachel 
Fish, Eleanore 
Fremstad, Olive 
Garden, Mary 
Osborn-Hannah, Jane 
Riegelman, Mabel 
Tetrazzini, Luisa 
Teyte, Maggie 
Saltzmann-Stevens, Minnie 
Starrell, Marguerite 
White, Carolina 
Zeppili, Alice 

Contraltos 
Berat, Louise 
Cisneros, Eleanora De 
Gerville-Reache, Jeanne 
Giaconia, Giuseppina 
Guernsey, Charlotte 



Contraltos (Cont'd) 

Ingram, Frances 

Schumann-Heink, Ernestine 

Spiesberger, Minna 

Wiftkowska, Martha 
Tenors 

Bassi, Amadeo 

Daddi, Francesco 

Dalmores, Charles 

Guardabassi, Mario 

Hamlin, George 

Hensel, Heinrich 

Hoose, Ellison Van 

Remella, Luigi 

Venturini, Emilio 

Warnery, Edmond 

Baritones 

Crabbe, Armand 

Costa, Alfredo 

Defrere, Desire 

Dufranne, Hector 

Fossetta, Nicolo 

Sammarco, Mario 

Whitehill, Clarence 
Bassos 

Berardi, Berardo 

Huberdeau, Gustave 

Malatesta, Pompilio 

Nicolay, Constantin 

Preisch, Frank 

Sampieri, Michele 

Schorr, Friedrich 

Scott, Henri 



10 Italian 



The Barber of Seville 1 

Cavalleria Rusticana 2 

The Jewels of the Madonna ... 6 

Lucia di Lammermoor 3 

The Marriage of Figaro 2 



I Pagliacci 2 

Rigoletto 2 

The Secret of Suzanne 5 

La Traviata 2 

II Trovatore 1 



Hansel and Gretel 



2 English 
5 Natoma 



p French 



Carmen 5 

Cendrillon 6 

Faust i 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 4 

Lakme 2 



Quo Vadis 4 

Samson and Delilah 3 

The Tales of Hoffman 3 

Thai's 4 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 259 

3 German 

Lohengrin 4 Die Walkiire 4 

Tristan and Isolde 2 



SEASON 1912-1913— CHICAGO GRAND OPERA COMPANY 

Board of Directors 

Frederick Bode Harold F. McCormick 

H. M. Byllesby John J. Mitchell 

R. T. Crane, Jr. Ira N. Morris 

Paul D. Cravath La Verne W. Noyes 

Charles G. Dawes Max Pam 

George J. Gould George F. Porter 

Frederick T. Haskell Julius Rosenwald 

Charles L. Hutchinson John C. Shaffer 

Otto H. Kahn John G. Shedd 

Alvin W. Krech Charles A. Stevens 

Philip M. Lydig F. D. Stout 

Clarence H. Mackay Harry Payne Whitney 

Executive Committee 

Philip M. Lydig, Chairman Clarence H. Mackay 

John C. Shaffer, Vice-Chairman Harold F. McCormick 

R. T. Crane, Jr. La Verne W. Noyes 

Paul D. Cravath Max Pam 

Charles G. Dawes John G. Shedd 

Otto H. Kahn Harry Payne Whitney 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Otto H. Kahn Vice-President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

F. H. Chandler Secretary 

Administration 

Andreas Dippel General Manager 

Cleofonte Campanini General Musical Director 

Bernhard Ulrich Business Manager 

Conductors Stage Manager 

Campanini, Cleofonte Engel, Joseph C. 

Charlier Marcel Chorus MasUr 

Parelh, 4,ttiho Nepoti, Pietro 

Perosio, Ettore 

Winternitz, Arnold Ballet Master 

Albertieri, Luigi 

Stage Director Premiere Danseuse 

Almanz, Fernand Galli, Rosina 



360 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Technical Director 
Bairstow, William H. 

Scenic Artist 

MacDonald, Julien L. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Tuesday, November 26th, 1912, 
to Saturday, February 1st, 1913. 
71 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 

1 Concert 

2 Ballet Divertissements 
30 Operas 

Sopranos 

Berry, Agnes 
Cavan, Marie 
Clay, Enrica 
Darch, Edna 
Dufau, Jenny 
Egener, Minnie 
Eversman, Alice 
Garden, Mary 
Garrette, Elsa 
Gugliardij Cecelia 
Nordica, Lillian 
Osborn-Hannah, Jane 
Riegelman, Mabel 
Saltzmann-Stevens, Minnie 
Stanley, Helen 
Tarquini, Tarquinia 
Tetrazzini, Luisa 
Teyte, Maggie 
Warram, Helen 
White, Carolina 
Zeppilli, Alice 

Contraltos 
Berat, Louise 
Cisneros, Eleanora De 



Contraltos (Cont'd) 

Claussen, Julia 

Gay, Maria 

Gray, Hope 

Heyl, Ruby 

Keyes, Margaret 

Logard, Adele 

Schumann-Heinle, Ernestine 
Tenors 

Daddi, Francesco 

Dalmores, Charles 

Calleja, Icilio 

Campagnola, Leon 

Gaudenzi, Giuseppe 

Giorgini, Aristodemo 

Hamlin, George 

Harrold, Orville 

Hoose, Ellison Van 

Orsati, Pietro 

Schoenert, Kurt 

Venturini, Emilio 

Warnery, Edmond 

Zenatello, Giovanni 
Baritones 

Crabbe, Armand 

Costa, Alfredo 

Defrere, Desire 

Dufranne, Hector 

Fossetta, Nicolo 

Mascal, Georges 

Polese, Giovanni 

Rossi, Anafesto 

Ruffo, Titta 

Sammarco, Mario 

Whitehill, Clarence 

Bassos 

Huberdeau, Gustave 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Scott, Henri 
Preisch, Frank 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



75 Italian 



Ai'da 4 

La Boheme 2 

Cavalleria Rusticana 5 

Hamlet 1 

The Jewels of the Madonna... 5 

A Lovers' Quarrel 2 

Lucia di Lammermoor 2 

Manon Lescaut 3 



I Pagliacci 5 

Rigoletto 3 

The Secret of Suzanne 3 

La Tosca 3 

La Traviata 2 

II Trovatore 1 

Conchita 1 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 36 1 

2 English 
The Cricket on the Hearth .... 4 Hansel and Gretel 3 

10 Trench 

Carmen 3 Louise 2 

Cendrillon 4 Mignon 5 

Faust 1 Noel 2 

Herodiade 3 The Tales of Hoffman 2 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 2 Thai's 2 

3 German 

Lohengrin 2 Die Walkiire 3 

Tristan and Isolde 1 

SEASON 1913-1914— CHICAGO GRAND OPERA COMPANY 
Board of Directors 

Frederick Bode Ira N. Morris 

H. M. Byllesby La Verne W. Noyes 

R. T. Crane, Jr. Max Pam 

Charles G. Dawes George F. Porter 

Frederick T. Haskell Julius Rosenwald 

Charles L. Hutchinson John C. Shaffer 

Otto H. Kahn John G. Shedd 

Harold F. McCormick Charles A. Stevens 

John J. Mitchell F. D. Stout 

Executive Committee 

John C Shaffer, Chairman La Verne W. Noyes 

R. T. Crane, Jr. Max Pam 

Charles G. Dawes George F. Porter 

Harold F. McCormick John G. Shedd 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Otto H. Kahn Vice-President 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Administration 

Cleofonte Campanini General Director 

Bernhard Ulrich Business Manager 

Conductors 

Campanini, Cleofonte Parelli, Attilio 

Charlier, Marcel Perosio, Ettore 

Herbert, Victor Sturani, Giuseppe 

Leoncavallo, Ruggiero Winternitz, Arnold 



362 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Chorus Master 
Nepoti, Pietro 

Stage Director 
Almanz, Fernand 

Stage Manager 
Engel, Joseph C. 
Moore, H. E., Assistant 
Katzman, Sam, Assistant 

Ballet Master 
Romeo, V. 

Premiere Danseuse 
Galli, Rosina 

Technical Director 
Bairstow, William H. 

Scenic Artist 
Donigan, P. T. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Monday, November 24th, 1913, 

to Saturday, January 31, 1914- 

70 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 
1 Ballet Divertissement 
1 Sunday Concert 

37 Operas 

Sopranos 

Alda, Frances 
Cavalieri, Lina 
Dorda, Martha 
Dufau, Jenny 
Egener, Minnie 
Evans, Amy 
Hempel, Frieda 
Garden, Mary 
Macbeth, Florence 
Melba, Nellie 
Osborn-Hannah, Jane 
Raisa, Rosa 
Riegelman, Mabel 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 

Saltzman-Stevens, Minnie 
Teyte, Maggie 
Warram, Helen 
Wheeler, Beatrice 
White, Carolina 
Zeppilli, Alice 

Contraltos 
Berat, Louise 
Claussen, Julia 
Heyl, Ruby 
Keyes, Margaret 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 
Schumann-Heink, Ernestine 

Tenors 
Bassi, Amadeo 
Bergmann, Gustav 
Daddi, Francesco 
Dalmores, Charles 
Errolle, Ralph 
Giorgini, Aristodemo 
Hamlin, George 
Marak, Otto 
Muratore, Lucien 
Venturini, Emilio 
Warnery, Edmond 

Baritones 

Crabbe, Armand 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Federici, Francesco 
Fossetta, Nicolo 
Polese, Giovanni 
Ruffo, Titta 
Turner, Alan 
Vanni-Marcoux 
Whitehill, Clarence 

Bassos 

Hinckley, Allen 
Huberdeau, Gustave 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Preisch, Frank 
Scott, Henri 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



iq Italian 

Ai'da 2 Don Giovanni 1 

The Barber of Seville 2 Fedora 3 

La Boheme 3 La Gioconda 1 

Cristoforo Colombo 2 The Girl of the Golden West. . 1 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



363 



ig Italian (Cont'd) 



The Jewels of the Madonna. . . 4 

A Lovers' Quarrel 1 

Lucia di Lammermoor 1 

Madame Butterfly 3 

I Pagliacci 3 

Rigoletto 2 



La Sonnambula 1 

La Tosca 2 

La Traviata 1 

II Trovatore 1 

I Zingari 2 



4. English 



The Cricket on the Hearth 1 

Hansel and Gretel 2 



Martha 
Natoma 



12 French 



Carmen 3 

Don Quichotte 4 

Faust 2 

Herodiade 1 

La Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 2 

Louise 1 



Manon 2 

Monna Vanna 2 

Le Ranz Des Vaches 2 

Samson and Delilah 3 

The Tales of Hoffman 2 

Thais 3 



Parsifal 



2 German 

2 Die Walkiire 



SEASON 1915-1916— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 



Guarantors 



Robert Allerton 
J. Ogden Armour 
Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. 
Congress Hotel Company 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Charles G. Dawes 
The Drake Hotel Company 
Marshall Field & Co. 
Frederick T. Haskell 
Charles L. Hutchinson 
Samuel Insull 
William V. Kelley 
L. B. Kuppenheimer 



Adolph J. Lichtstern 

William A. Lydon 

Cyrus Hall McCormick 

Harold F. McCormick 

John J. Mitchell 

Max Pam 

George F. Porter 

Julius Rosenwald 

Martin A. Ryerson 

John G. Shedd 

Charles A. Stevens & Bros. 

F. D. Stout 

Edward F. Swift 



Administration 

Cleofonte Campanini General Director 

Bernhard Ulrich Business Manager 

Herbert M. Johnson Auditor 

Conductors Ferrari, Rodolfo 

Campanini, Cleofonte Parelli, Attilio 

Charlier, Marcel Pollak, Egon 



364 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Stage Directors 
Chalmin, Victor 
Capotini, Napoleone 
Taylor, Loomis 

Stage Manager 
Engel, Joseph C. 
Katzman, Sam, Assistant 

Chorus Master 
Nepoti, Pietro 

Ballet Master 

Ambrosini, Frangois 

Premiere Danseuse 
Rosina Tiovella 

Assistant Conductor 
Spadoni, Giacomo 

Technical Director 
Bairstow, William H. 

Scenic Artist 
Donigan, P. T. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Monday, November 15th, to Sat- 
urday, January 22, 1916. 
73 Performances 

1 Gala Performance 
35 Operas 

Sopranos 

Alda, Frances 
Beriza, Marguerite 
Darch, Edna 
Destinn, Emmy 
Dresser, Maria Van 
Easton, Florence 
Eden, Hazel 
Edvina, Louise 
Farrar, Geraldine 
Frease-Green, Rachel 
Gresham, Lillian 
Fremstad, Olive 
Hall, Mabel 
Kousenezoff, Maria 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Jovelli, Minnie 
Lindgren, Lydia 
Lynbrook, Katarina 
Macbeth, Florence 
Melba, Nellie 
Melis, Carmen 
Peterson, Alma 
Phillippe, Dora De 
Rose, Frances 
Sharlow, Myrna 
Stanley, Helen 
Supervia, Conchita 
Verlet, Alice 

Contraltos 

Cisneros, Eleanora De 
Claussen, Julia 
Ingram, Frances 
Lenska, Augusta 
Maubourg, Jeanne 
Mosco, Myrtle 
Pavloska, Irene 
Schaffer, Virginia 
Schumann-Heink, Ernestine 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 
Wait, Barbara 

Tenors 
Bassi, Amadeo 
Corallo, Giuseppe 
Daddi, Francesco 
Dalmores, Charles 
Dua, Octave 

Ferrari-Fontana, Edgardo 
Ferraresi, Federico 
Hamlin, George 
MacLennan, Francis 
McCormack, John 
Moreas, Costas 
Muratore, Lucien 
Procter, Warren 
Reiss, Albert 
Stiles, Vernon 
Vogliotti, Giuseppe 
Zerola, Nicolo 

Baritones 

Ancona, Mario 
Beck, William 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Federici, Francesco 
Maguenat, Charles 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



365 



Baritones (Cont'd) 
Marr, Graham 
Scotti, Antonio 
Whitehill, Clarence 

Bassos 

Arimondi, Vittorio 



Bassos (Cont'd) 

Cochems, Carl Von 
Goddard, James 
Hinckley, Allen 
Journet, Marcel 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



15 Italian 



Aid a 2 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 3 

La Boheme 3 

Cavalleria Rusticana 1 

Don Giovanni 1 

La Gioconda 3 

The Jewels of the Madonna.. 4 

A Lovers' Quarrel 1 



Lucia di Lammermoor 1 

Madame Butterfly 5 

I Pagliacci 3 

Rigoletto i 

II Trovatore 1 

La Tosca 4 

Zaza 1 



/ English 
The Lovers' Knot 1 



12 French 

Carmen 6 

Cleopatre 3 

Dejanire 2 

Faust 2 

Louise 3 

Mignon 3 



Monna Vanna 4 

La Navarraise 2 

Romeo and Juliet 2 

Thai's 2 

La Traviata . 1 

Werther 2 



7 German 

Gotterdammerung 1 

Parsifal 2 

Das Rheingold 1 

Siegfried 1 



Tannhauser 3 

Tristan and Isolde 1 

Die Walkure 2 



SEASON 1916-1917— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 

Guarantors 



Robert Allerton 
J. Ogden Armour 
Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. 
Congress Hotel Company 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Charles G. Dawes 
The Drake Hotel Company 
Marshall Field & Co. 
Frederick T. Haskell 
Charles L. Hutchinson 
Samuel Insull 
William V. Kelley 
L. B. Kuppenheimer 



Adolph J. Lichtstern 
William A. Lydon 
Cyrus Hall McCormick 
Harold F. McCormick 
John J. Mitchell 
Max Pam 
George F. Porter 
Julius Rosenwald 
Martin A. Ryerson 
John G. Shedd 
Charles A. Stevens & Bros. 
F. D. Stout 
Edward F. Swift 



366 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Executive Staff 

Cleofonte Campanini General Director 

Herbert M. Johnson Business Comptroller 



Conductors 

Campanini, Cleofonte 
Charlier, Marcel 
Pollak, Egon 
Sturani, Giuseppe 

Stage Directors 
Engel, Joseph C. 
Verande, Louis F. 

Assistant Stage Managers 
Defrere, Desire 
Katzman, Sam 

Chorus Master 
Nepoti, Pietro 

Ballet Master 

Ambrosini, Francois 

Premiere Danscuse and Danseurs 
Tamara Swirskaia 
Andreas Pavley 
Serge Oukrainsky 

Assistant Conductor 
Spadoni, Giacomo 

Technical Director 
Bairstow, William H. 

Scenic Artist 
Donigan, P. T. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Monday, November 13th, 1916, to 

Sunday, January 21st, 1917. 

81 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 
1 Italian-French Benefit 

38 Operas 

Sopranos 
Amsden, Elizabeth 
Buckler, Marguerite 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Dresser, Marcia Van 
Easton, Florence 
Eden, Hazel 
Edvina, Louise 
Farrar, Geraldine 
Forsaith, Leta Mae 
Galli-Curci, Amelita 
Goodman, Melba 
Hall, Mabel Preston 
Libberton, Cora 
Matzenauer, Margaret 
Mooney, Miriam 
Peterson, Alma 
Prindiville, Ethel 
Phillippe, Dora De 
Raisa, Rosa 
Sharlow, Myrna 

Contraltos 
Berat, Louise 
Claessens, Maria 
Claussen, Julia 
Moses, Myrtle 
Olitzka, Rosa 
Pavloska, Irene 
Reynolds, Sarame 
Schaffer, Virginia 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 

Crimi, Giulio 
Daddi, Francesco 
Dalmores, Charles 
Dua, Octave 
Dore, Georges 
Errolle, Ralph 
Hamlin, George 
Kingston, Morgan 
MacLennan, Francis 
Muratore, Lucien 
Nadal, Juan 
Proctor, Warren 
Venturini, Emilio 

Baritones 

Beck, William 
Defrere, Desire 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



367 



Baritones (Cont'd) 
Dufranne, Hector 
Franzini, Rocco 
Kreidler, Louis 
Polese, Giovanni 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Whitehill, Clarence 



Bassos 

Arimondi, Vittorio 
Goddard, James 
Hinckley, Allen 
Journet, Marcel 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Sargeant, Gaston 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



J 5 Italian 



Ai'da 4 

Andrea Chenier 3 

The Barber of Seville 3 

La Boheme 2 

Cavalleria Rusticana 3 

Falstaff 2 

Francesca da Rimini 3 

Lucia di Lammermoor 4 



Madame Butterfly 2 

I Pagliacci 3 

Rigoletto 4 

La Tosca 2 

La Traviata 2 

II Trovatore 1 

Gli Ugonotti 1 



12 Trench 



Carmen 5 

Faust 3 

Griselidis 2 

Herodiade 1 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 2 

Louise 3 



Manon 3 

Le Prophete 2 

Romeo and Juliet 4 

The Tales of Hoffman 2 

Thais 3 

Le Vieil Aigle 1 



2 English 
Hansel and Gretel 1 Madeleine 2 



Gotterdammerung 1 

Konigskinder 5 

Lohengrin 1 

Das Rheingold 1 

Siegfried 1 



g German 

1 Parsifal 1 

Tannhauser 1 

Tristan and Isolde 1 

Die Walkiire 1 



SEASON 1917-1918— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 



Guarantors 



Robert Allerton 

J. Ogden Armour 

Giulio Bolognesi 

Congress Hotel Company 

R. T. Crane, Jr. 

Charles G. Dawes 

Charles L. Hutchinson 

Samuel Insull 

L. B. Kuppenheimer 

A. J. Lichtstern 

Cyrus Hall McCormick 



Harold F. McCormick 

Edith Rockefeller McCormick 

John J. Mitchell 

Max Pam 

George F. Porter 

Julius Rosenwald 

Martin A. Ryerson 

John G. Shedd 

Mrs. H. H. Spaulding, Jr. 

Frank D. Stout 

Edward F. Swift 



368 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Executive Staff 

Cleofonte Campanini General Director 

Herbert M. Johnson Business Comptroller 



Conductors 

Campanini, Cleofonte 
Sturani, Giuseppe 
Conti, Arnoldo 
Charlier, Marcel 

Stage Director 

Merle-Forest, Emile 

Stage Managers 
Engel, Joseph C. 
Verande, Louis P. 
Katzman, Samuel (Assistant) 

Chorus Master 
Nepoti, Pietro 

Ballet Master 

Ambrosini, Frangois 

Premiere Danseuse 
Pelucchi, Annetta 

Assistant Conductor 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) 

Technical Director 
Beatty, Harry W. 

Scenic Artist 

Donigan, Peter J. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Monday, November 12th, 1917, 
to Saturday, January 19th, 1918. 
73 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 
3 Concerts 
30 Operas 

Sopranos 

Bonnar, Diana 
Buckler, Marguerite 
Christian, Jessie 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Evans, Ruby 
Fitziu, Anna 
Galli-Curci, Amelita 
Garden, Mary 
Hall, Mabel Preston 
Maxwell, Margery 
Melba, Nellie 
Parnell, Evelyn 
Peterson, Alma 
de Phillippe, Dora 
Pruette, Juanita 
Peralta, Francesca 
Pruzan, Marie 
Raisa, Rosa 
Sharlovv, Myrna 
Vix, Genevieve 

Contraltos 
Berat, Louise 
Claessens, Maria 
Lazzari, Carolina 
Swartz, Jeska 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 
Crimi, Giulio 
Daddi, Francesco 
Dalmores, Charles 
Dua, Octave 
Lamont, Forrest 
McCormack, John 
Muratore, Lucien 
Nadal, Juan 
Paltrinieri, Giordano 
Zinovieff, Leone 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Fornari, Rodolfo 
Van Hulst, Carl 
Kreidler, Louis 
Landesman, Bernard 
Maguenat, Alfred 
Middleton, Arthur 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Stracciari, Ricardo 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 369 

Bassos 

Arimondi, Vittorio Nicolay, Constantin 

Goddard, James Preisch, Frank 

Huberdeau, Gustave Trevisan, Vittorio 

16 Italian 

Ai'da 4 Isabeau 4 

The Barber of Seville 1 Lucia di Lammermoor 1 

La Boheme 4 I Pagliacci 3 

Cavalleria Rusticana 3 Rigoletto 3 

Dinorah 5 La Tosca 4 

Ernani 2 La Traviata 4 

Francesca da Rimini 1 II Trovatore 1 

The Jewels of the Madonna. . . 4 Gli Ugonotti 1 

12 French 

Carmen 2 Monna Vanna 1 

Faust 4 Pelleas et Melisande 2 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame ... 3 Romeo and Juliet 5 

Lakme 2 Sapho 2 

Louise 2 Le Sauteriot 1 

Manon 2 Thai's 1 

2 English 
Azora 3 A Daughter of the Forest 1 

SEASON 1918-1919— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 
Board of Directors 

Robert Allerton L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Giulio Bolognesi Cyrus Hall McCormick 

R. T. Crane, Jr. Harold F. McCormick 

Charles G. Dawes John J. Mitchell 

Stanley Field Max Pam 

E. R. Graham Martin A. Ryerson 

Charles L. Hutchinson John G. Shedd 

Samuel Insull Frank D. Stout 

S. R. Kaufman Edward F. Swift 

Executive Committee 

Max Pam, Chairman Harold F. McCormick 

R. T. Crane, Jr. John J. Mitchell 

Stanley Field Frank D. Stout 

Samuel Insull Edward F. Swift 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Max Pam Vice-President 



370 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Officers (Cont'd) 

Stanley Field Secretary 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Administration 

Cleofonte Campanini General Director 

Herbert M. Johnson Business Comptroller 

Conductors Season 

Campanini, Cleofonte Monday, November 18, 1918, to 

Polacco, Giorgio Saturday, January 25, 1919. 

Sturani, Giuseppe 63 Performances 

Hasselmans, Louis 6 Concerts 

Charlier, Marcel 29 Operas 

Stage Director Sopranos 

Merle-Forrest, Emile Brown, Beryl 

Fitziu, Anna 
Stage Manager Gall, Yvonne 

Engel, Joseph C. Galli-Curci, Amelita 

Katzman, Samuel (Assistant) Garden, Mary 

Gerhardt-Downing, Frederica 
Chorus Master Gibson, Dora 

Nepoti, Pietro Macbeth, Florence 

Maxwell, Margery 
Ballet Master Miura, Tamaki 

Ambrosini, Francois Namara, Marguerite 

Noe, Emma 
Premiere Danseuse Peterson, Alma 

Tell, Sylvia Pruzan, Marie 

Premiers Danseurs Raisa, Rosa 

Pavley, Andreas Sharlow, Myrna 

Oukrainsky, Serge Sylva, Marguerite 

Karalli 

Contraltos 
Assistant Conductors Berat, Louise 

Spadoni, Giacomo Claessens, Marie 

Sturani, Cesare Lazzari, Carolina 

Conti, Arnoldo Pavloska, Irene 

St. Leger, Frank Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Ruffo, Ettore 
Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) Tenors 

Carpi, Fernando 
Technical Director Ciccolini, Guido 

Beatty, Harry W. Daddi, Francesco 

Dolci, Alessandro 
Scenic Artist Dua, Octave 

Donigan, Peter J. Fontaine, Charles 

Lamont, Forrest 
Orchestra Manager McCormack, John 

Raffaelli, Joseph Muratore, Lucien 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



371 



Tenors (Cont'd) 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
O'Sullivan, John. 
Proctor, Warren 
Rogerson, William 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Bouilliez, Auguste 
Defrere, Desire 
Landesman, Bernard 
Maguenat, Alfred 



Baritones (Cont'd) 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Stracciari, Riccardo 

Bassos 

Arimondi, Vittorio 
Huberdeau, Gustave 
Journet, Marcel 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



16 Italian 



Aid a 2 

The Barber of Seville 3 

La Boheme 2 

Cavalleria Rusticana 2 

Crispino e la Comare 1 

La Gioconda 2 

Isabeau 2 



Loreley 2 

Lucia di Lammermoor 2 

Madame Butterfly 4 

I Pagliacci 2 

Rigoletto 2 

La Tosca 2 

La Traviata 2 



Linda di Chamounix 4 II Trovatore 3 



13 French 



Carmen 4 

Le Chemineau 1 

Cleopatre 1 

Faust 3 

Gismonda 2 

Manon 2 

Monna Vanna 1 



Romeo and Juliet 2 

Samson and Delilah 3 

The Tales of Hoffman 1 

William Tell 2 

Th ai s 2 

Werther 2 



SEASON 1919-1920— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 



Board of Directors 



Robert Allerton 
Giulio Bolognesi 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Charles G. Dawes 
Stanley Field 
E. R. Graham 
Charles L. Hutchinson 
Samuel Insull 
S. R. Kaufman 



L. B. Kuppenheimer 
Cyrus H. McCormick 
Harold F. McCormick 
John J. Mitchell 
Max Pam 
Martin A. Ryerson 
John G. Shedd 
Frank D. Stout 
Edward F. Swift 



Executive Committee 



Max Pam, Chairman 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Stanley Field 
Samuel Insull 



Harold F. McCormick 
John J. Mitchell 
Frank D. Stout 
Edward F. Swift 



372 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Max Pam Vice-President 

Stanley Field Secretary 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Administration 

Cleofonte Campanini General Director 

Herbert M. Johnson Business Comptroller 

Conductors Sopranos 

Campanini, Cleofonte Brown, Beryl 

De Angelis, Teofilo Darch, Edna 

Marinuzzi, Gino Follis, Dorothy 

Charlier, Marcel Gall, Yvonne 

Hasselmans, Louis Galli-Curci, Amelita 

Smallens, Alexander Garden, Mary 

Herbert, Evelyn 
Stage Director Jardon, Dorothy 

Speck, Jules Langaard, Borghild 

Macbeth, Florence 
Stage Manager m Taraaki 

Engel, Joseph C. Morgana, Nina 

Katzman, Samuel (Assistant) Namara, Marguerite 

Chorus Master ^J,™"™ rx 

Nepoti, Pietro £ e Philhppe, Dora 

Kaisa, Rosa 
Ballet Masters Shadow, Myrna 

Pavley, Andreas 

Oukrainsky, Serge Contraltos 

Bolm, Adolph D'AIvarez, Marguerite 

Claessens, Maria 
Assistant Conductor Correnti, Anna 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) Eubank, Lillian 

Hager, Mina 
Technical Director Pavloska, Irene 

Beatty, Harry W. slade> Louise Harrison 

„ . . M . . Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Scenic Artist 

Donigan, Peter J. 

Tenors 

Orchestra Manager Bond, Alessandro 

Raffaelli, Joseph Boardman, Arthur 

Daddi, Francesco 

Season Dolci, Alessandro 

Tuesday, November 16, 1919, to Fontaine, Charles 

Saturday, January 24, 1920. Johnson, Edward 

66 Performances Lamont, Forrest 

2 Concerts (John McCormack) Mojica, Jose 

35 Operas Oliviero, Lodovico 

3 Ballets Rogerson, William 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



373 



Tenors (Cont'd) 
Schipa, Tito 
O'Sullivan, John 
Warnery, Edmond 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Galeffi, Carlo 
Landesman, Bernard 
Maguenat, Alfred 



Baritones (Cont'd) 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Ruffo, Titta 

Bassos 

Arimondi, Vittorio 
Blanchart, Ramon 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Huberdeau, Gustave 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



20 Italian 



Ai'da 2 

A Masked Ball 3 

The Barber of Seville 2 

La Boheme 3 

Don Pasquale 2 

L'EIisir d'Amore 2 

Fedora 3 

Gianni Schicchi 3 

Hamlet i 

Lucia di Lammermoor 3 



Madame Butterfly 5 

La Nave 2 

Norma 2 

I Pagliacci 2 

Rigoletto 3 

Suor Angelica 3 

La Sonnambula 3 

II Tabarro 3 

La Traviata 1 

Tosca 2 



14 French 



Carmen 1 

Le Chemineau 2 

Cleopatre 1 

Faust 1 

Herodiade 3 

L'Heure Espagnol 1 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 1 



Louise 1 

Mme. Chrysantheme 2 

Manon 

Monna Vanna 

Pelleas and Melisande 

Thais 

Le Vieil Aigle 



/ English 
Rip Van Winkle 3 



SEASON 1920-1921— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 



Robert Allerton 
Giulio Bolognesi 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Charles G. Dawes 
Stanley Field 
E. R. Graham 
Charles L. Hutchinson 
Samuel Insull 
S. R. Kaufman 



Board of Directors 



L. B. Kuppenheimer 
Cyrus H. McCormick 
Harold F. McCormick 
John J. Mitchell 
Max Pam 
Martin A. Ryerson 
John G. Shedd 
Frank D. Stout 
Edward F. Swift 



374 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Executive Committee 

Charles G. Dawes, Chairman Harold F. McCormick 

R. T. Crane, Jr. John J. Mitchell 

Stanley Field Frank D. Stout 

Samuel Insull Edward F. Swift 

Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Max Pam Vice-President 

Stanley Field Secretary 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Administration 

Herbert M. Johnson Executive Director 

Gino Marinuzzi Musical Director 

Monday, January 17, IQ2I 

Mary Garden General Director 

Jacques Coini Stage Director 

George M. Spangler Business Manager 

Conductors Technical Director 

Marinuzzi, Gino Beatty, Harry W. 

Cimini, Pietro 

Morin, Henri Scenic Artist 

Santini, Gabriel Dove, Julian 

Smallens, Alexander 

Orchestra Manager 

Stage Director Raffaelli, Joseph 

Francioli, Romeo 

P . ,, Season 

Stage Managers Wednesday, November 17, 1920, 

Engel, Joseph C. tQ Saturd j anuary 22> \ 92 l 

Raybaut, Luigi _ Performances 

Katzman, Samuel (Assistant) Operas 

Chorus Master Sunday, December 19, 1920: 

Bernabini, Attico Campamni Memorial Concert. 

Bigalli, Dino (Assistant) 

Sopranos 

Ballet Masters Carrara, Olga 

Pavley, Andreas Craft, Marcella 

Oukrainsky, Serge Diemer, Elsa 

McRae, Elma (Assistant) Francis, Dorothy 

Gall, Yvonne 

Assistant Conductors Galli-Curci, Amelita 

Bellini, Renato Garden, Mary 

Lauwers, Charles Goudard, Marcelle 

Ruffo, Ettore Macbeth, Florence 

St. Leger, Frank Maxwell, Margery 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



375 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Raisa, Rosa 
Storchio, Rosina 

Contraltos 

Besanzoni, Gabriella 
Claessens, Maria 
Falco, Philine 
Gannon, Rose 
Paperte, Frances 
Pascova, Carmen 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 
Bonci, Alessandro 
Hislop, Joseph 
Johnson, Edward 
Larnont, Forrest 
Marshall, Charles 
Martin, Riccardo 
Mojica, Jose 
Muratore, Lucien 
Oliviero, Lodovico 



Aida 2 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 2 

Andrea Chenier 2 

The Barber of Seville 2 

La Boheme 2 

Cavalleria Rusticana 3 

Edipo Re 3 

L'Elisir d'Amore 2 

Falstaff 1 

Gianni Schicchi 3 

Jacquerie 3 

The Jewels of the Madonna. ... 4 



Tenors (Cont'd) 
Paillaird, Albert 
Schipa, Tito 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Civai, Sallustio 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Galeffi, Carlo 
Kreidler, Louis 
Landesman, Bernard 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Ruffo, Titta 

Bassos 

Bitterl, Carl 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Dentale, Teofile 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Trevisan, Vittorio 

23 Italian 

Linda di Chamounix 2 

Lucia di Lammermoor 2 

Madame Butterfly 3 

Mignon 1 

Otello 2 

I Pagliacci 4 

Rigoletto 2 

La Tosca 4 

La Traviata 3 

II Trovatore 2 

La Sonnambula 1 



9 Trench 



Aphrodite 1 

Carmen 2 

Le Chemineau 2 

Faust 1 

Lakme 3 



Manon 1 

Monna Vanna 2 

Romeo and Juliet 2 

The Tales of Hoffman 2 



/ English 
Lohengrin 3 

/ German 
Die Walkiire 2 



376 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



SEASON 1921-1922— CHICAGO OPERA ASSOCIATION 



Board of Directors 



Robert Allerton 
Giulio Bolognesi 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Charles G. Dawes 
Stanley Field 
E. R. Graham 
Charles L. Hutchinson 
Samuel Insull 
S. R. Kaufman 



L. B. Kuppenheimer 
Cyrus H. McCormick 
Harold F. McCormick 
John J. Mitchell 
Max Pam 
Martin A. Ryerson 
John G. Shedd 
Frank D. Stout 
Edward F. Swift 



Executive Committee 



Charles G. Dawes, Chairman 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Stanley Field 
Samuel Insull 



Harold F. McCormick 
John J. Mitchell 
Frank D. Stout 
Edward F. Swift 



Officers 

Harold F. McCormick President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Max Pam Vice-President 

Stanley Field Secretary 

Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Administration 

Mary Garden General Director 

George M. Spangler / D . ., 

Clark A. Shaw . \ Business Managers 

Conductors Assistant Conductors 

Polacco, Giorgio Bigalli, Dino 

Cimini, Pietro Bianchi-Rosa, Gino 

Ferrari, Angelo Lauwers, Charles 

Smallens, Alexander Spadoni, Giacomo 

„, _,. . St. Leger, Frank 

Stage Director Van GrQ Isaac 

Loini, Jacques 

0j „, Technical Director 

Stage Managers B H w 

Engel, Joseph C. 

Raybaut, Luigi Scenic Artist 

Saks, Mischa (Assistant) Dove, Julian F. 

Chorus Master Orchestra Manager 

Nepoti, Pietro Raffaelli, Joseph 

Ballet Masters Season 

Pavley, Andreas Monday, November 14, 1921, to 

Oukrainsky, Serge Saturday, January 21, 1922. 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



377 



Season (Cont'd) 
67 Performances 
29 Operas 
1 Ballet 
5 Concerts 

Sopranos 

Dusseau, Jeanne 
Dux, Claire 
Galli-Curci, Amelita 
Garden, Mary 
Goodman, Melba 
d'Hermanoy, Alice 
Ivogun, Maria 
Koshetz, Nina 
Kottlar, Beatrice 
McCormic, Mary 
Mason, Edith 
Namara, Marguerite 
Raisa, Rosa 
Schneider, Jeanne 

Contraltos 

D'Alvarez, Marguerite 
Claessens, Maria 
Falco, Philine 
Paperte, Frances 
Pavloska, Irene 
Reynolds, Eleanor 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 
Dua, Octave 
Johnson, Edward 



Tenors (Cont'd) 
Lamont, Forrest 
Lappas, Ulysses 
Marshall, Charles 
Martin, Riccardo 
Mojica, Jose 
Muratore, Lucien 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Pattiera, Tino 
Ritch, Theodore 
Rocca, Antonio 
Schipa, Tito 
Schubert, Richard 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Ballester, Vicente 
Beck, William 
Civai, Sallustio 
Defrere, Desire 
Dufranne, Hector 
Maguenat, Alfred 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Schwarz, Joseph 

Bassos 

Cotreuil, Edouard 
Lankow, Edward 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolay, Constantin 
Payan, Paul 
Trevisan, Vittorio 
Uhl, Jerome 
Wolf, James 



13 Italian 

Ai'da 3 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 3 

The Barber of Seville 2 

La Boheme 3 

The Girl of the Golden West. . 1 

Lucia di Lammermoor 1 

The Jewels of the Madonna. ... 2 



Madame Butterfly 

Otello 

I Pagliacci 

Rigoletto 

La Tosca 

La Traviata 



1 j French 



Carmen 3 

Faust 1 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 3 

Lakme 1 

Love for the Three Oranges.. 2 

Louise 1 

Manon c 1 



Monna Vanna 

Pelleas and Melisande 
Romeo and Juliet 

Salome 

Samson and Delilah . . 
Thai's 



378 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



3 German 

Lohengrin i Tristan and Isolde 2 

Tannhauser 5 

SEASON 1922-1923— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 

Officers 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Mr. Richard T. Crane, Jr Vice-President 

Mr. Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary 

Board of Trustees 

Mr. Robert Allerton Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mr. Cyrus Hall McCormick 

Mr. R. T. Crane, Jr. Mr. Harold F. McCormick 

Mr. Charles G. Dawe9 Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. Stanley Field Mr. John J. Mitchell 

Mr. Edward E. Gore Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. E. R. Graham Mr. Max Pam 

Mr. Charles L. Hutchinson Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Samuel Insull Mr. John G. Shedd 

Mr. Robert E. Kenyon Mr. Frank D. Stout 
Mr. Edward F. Swift 

Executive Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. E. R. Graham 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mr. Charles L. Hutchinson 

Mr. R. T. Crane, Jr. Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Edward E. Gore Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Frank D. Stout 

Finance Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman Mr. John J. Mitchell 
Mr. John G. Shedd 

Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary 

Mr. Clark A. Shaw Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 

Conductors Cimini, Pietro 

Polacco, Giorgio Hageman, Richard 

Panizza, Ettore 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



379 



Stage Director 

Merle-Forest, Emile 

Stage Manager 
Engel, Joseph C. 

Chorus Master 
Bernabini, Attico 

Ballet Master 
Bolm, Adolph 

Assistant Conductors 
St. Leger, Frank 
Van Grove, Isaac 
Spadoni, Giacomo 
Lauwers, Charles 
Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) 

Technical Director 
Beatty, Harry W. 

Scenic Artist 
Dove, Julian F. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Monday, November 13, 1922, to 
Saturday, January 20, 1923. 
70 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 
i Concert 
25 Operas 

Sopranos 

Eden, Hazel 
Fitziu, Anna 
Galli-Curci, Amelita 
Garden, Mary 
d'Hermanoy, Alice 
Hoist, Grace 
Macbeth, Florence 
McCormic, Mary 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Mason, Edith 
Muzio, Claudia 
Passmore, Malvena 
Raisa, Rosa 

Contraltos 

Bourskaya, Ina 
Browne, Kathryn 
Cannon, Dorothy 
Claessens, Maria 
Correnti, Anna 
Homer, Louise 
Pavloska, Irene 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 
Crimi, Giulio 
Lamont, Forrest 
Marshall, Charles 
Martin, Riccardo 
Minghetti, Angelo 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Schipa, Tito 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Beck, William 
Civai, Sallustio 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Luka, Milo 
Oster, Mark 
Rimini, Giacomo 

Bassos 

Chaliapin, Feodor 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Gould, Herbert 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Steschenko, Ivan 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



18 Italian 



Aid a 4- 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 3 

The Barber of Seville 1 

La Boheme 3 

Cavalleria Rusticana 2 

La Forza del Destino 2 

The Girl of the Golden West. 1 

The Jewels of the Madonna. ... 3 

The Jewess 3 



Lucia di Lammermoor 
Madame Butterfly 

Martha 

Mefistofele 

I Pagliacci 

Rigoletto 

La Tosca 

La Traviata 

II Trovatore 



380 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

4. French 

Carmen 5 Samson and Delilah 2 

Manon 2 Sniegurotchka 6 

/ English 
Snowbird 1 

2 German 
Parsifal 3 Die Walkure 3 

SEASON 1923-1924— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 

Officers 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer Vice-President 

Mr. Charles L. Hutchinson Treasurer 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary 

Board of Trustees 

Mr. Robert Allerton Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mr. Harold F. McCormick 

Mr. R. T. Crane, Jr. Mrs. Arthur Meeker 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mr. John J. Mitchell 

Mr. Stanley Field Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. E. R. Graham Mr. Max Pam 

Mr. Charles L. Hutchinson Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Samuel Insull Mr. John G. Shedd 

Mr. Robert E. Kenyon Mr. Judson F. Stone 

Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer Mr. Frank D. Stout 
Mr. Edward F. Swift 

Executive Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. E. R. Graham Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Charles L. Hutchinson Mr. Judson F. Stone 

Mr. Frank D. Stout 

Finance Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman Mr. John J. Mitchell 
Mr. John G. Shedd 

Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary 

Mr. Herbert M. Johnson Assistant to the President 

Mr. Clark A. Shaw Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



38l 



Conductors 

Polacco, Giorgio 
Panizza, Ettore 
Cimini, Pietro 

Stage Director 

Merle-Forest, Emile 

Stage Managers 
Engel, Joseph C. 
Defrere, Desire (Assistant) 
Drumheller, Charles H. (Assist.) 

Chorus Master 
Bernabini, Attico 

Ballet Master 
Bolm, Adolph 

Premiere Danseuse 
Ludmila, Anna 

Assistant Conductors 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) 
Lauvvers, Charles 
Spadoni, Giacomo 
St. Leger, Frank 
Van Grove, Isaac 

Technical Director 
Beatty, Harry W. 

Scenic Artist 
Dove, Julian 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Tuesday, November 8, 1923, to 
Saturday, January 26, 1924. 
84 Performances 
1 Gala Concert 
35 Operas 

Sopranos 

Brown, Beryl 
Dux, Claire 
Fabian, Mary 
Galli-Curci, Amelita 
Garden, Mary 
Kerr, Elizabeth 
d'Hermanoy, Alice 
Macbeth, Florence 
Mason, Edith 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Maxwell, Margery 
Muzio, Claudia 
Paggi, Tina 
Pareto, Graziella 
Sharlow, Myrna 
Sherwood, Mabel 
Raisa, Rosa 
Westen, Lucie 

Contraltos 
Browne, Kathryn 
Claessens, Maria 
Fernanda, Doria 
Gentle, Alice 
Hcmer, Louise 
Meisle, Kathryn 
Pavloska, Irene 
Steckiewicz, Tamara 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 
Ansseau, Fernand 
Crimi, Giulio 
Errolle, Ralph 
Hackett, Charles 
Hart, Charles 
Karolik, Maxim 
Lamont, Forrest 
Marshall, Charles 
Minghetti, Angelo 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Piccaver, Alfred 
Schipa, Tito 
Steier, Harry 

Baritones 
BaklanofF, Georges 
Beck, William 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Gandolfi, Alfredo 
Luki, Milo 
Morel ato, Gildo 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Schwarz, Joseph 

Bassos 

Chaliapin, Feodor 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Kipnis, Alexander 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



382 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Aid a 4 

L'Africana 3 

Andrea Chenier 2 

The Barber of Seville 2 

Boris Godunoff 4 

Cavalleria Rusticana 3 

Dinorah 3 

La Forza del Destino 2 

The Jewess 4 

Lucia di Lammermoor 4 



IQ Italian 

II Maestro di Capella 1 

Martha 4 

Mefistofele 4 

Otello 3 

I Pagliacci 2 

Rigoletto 3 

La Sonnambula 2 

La Traviata 3 

II Trovatore 2 



12 French 



Carmen 4 

Cleopatre 2 

Faust J 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 2 

Lakme 3 

Louise 3 



Manon 2 

Monna Vanna 2 

Romeo and Juliet 2 

Samson and Delilah 3 

Sniegurotchka 3 

Thais 2 



Hansel and Gretel 



Konigskinder 



2 English 

5 Snowbird 

2 German 

2 Siegfried 



Mr. 

Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 



Mr. 
Mrs 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 
Mr. 



SEASON 1924-1925— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 
Officers 

Samuel Insull President 

Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

L. B. Kuppenheimer Vice-President 

Stanley Field Secretary 



Board of Trustees 



Robert Allerton 
Jacob Baur 
R. T. Crane, Jr. 
Charles G. Dawes 
William R. Dawes 
Stanley Field 
E. R. Graham 
Samuel Insull 
Robert E. Kenyon 
L. B. Kuppenheimer 



Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. Harold F. McCormick 

Mrs. Arthur Meeker 

Mr. John J. Mitchell 

Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Max Pam 

Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. John G. Shedd 

Mr. Frank D. Stout 

Mr. Edward F. Swift 



Executive Committee 



Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman 
Mrs. Jacob Baur 



Mr. Charles G. Dawes 
Mr. William R. Dawes 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 
Executive Committee (Cont'd) 



383 



Mr. E. R. Graham 

Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 



Mr. Joseph R. Noel 
Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 
Mr. Frank D. Stout 



Finance Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman Mr. John J. Mitchell 
Mr. John G. Shedd 

Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary 

Mr. Herbert M. Johnson Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 

Conductors Orchestra Manager 

Polacco, Giorgio Raffaelli, Joseph 

Moranzoni, Roberto 

Cimini, Pietro 

Season 
Stage Managers Wednesday, November 5, 1924, 

Engel, Joseph C. to Saturday, January 24, 1925. 

Defrere, Desire 98 Performances 

Drumheller, Charles (Assistant) 1 Gala Performance 

35 Operas 
Chorus Master 1 Ballet Divertissement 

Bernabini, Attico 3 Concerts 

Ballet Master Sopranos 

Oukrainsky, Serge Barr, Leila 

Dal Monte, Toti 
Premieres Danseuses Derzbach, Helen 

Milar, Edris Freund, Helen 

Elisius, Vera Forrai, Olga 

Shermont, Viola Garden, Mary 

Nemeroff, Maria d'Hermanoy, Alice 

Hidalgo, Elvira 
Assistant Conductors Kerr, Elizabeth 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) Macbeth, Florence 

Lauwers, Charles McCormic, Mary 

Spadoni, Giacomo Mason, Edith 

St. Leger, Frank Muzio, Claudia 

Van Grove, Isaac Pareto, Graziella 

Weber, Henry G. Raisa, Rosa 

Taylor, Louise 
Technical Director Westen, Louise 

Beatty, Harry W. 

Contraltos 
Scenic Artist Claessens, Maria 

Dove, Julian F. Correnti, Anna 



3«4 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Contraltos (Cont'd) 
Homer, Louise 
Lenska, Augusta 
Meisle, Kathryn 
Orens, Edith 
Perini, Flora 
Swarthout, Gladys 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 

Ansseau, Fernand 
Boscassi, Romeo 
Cortis, Antonio 
Dneproff, Ivan 
Hackett, Charles 
Lamont, Forrest 
Marshall, Charles 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Piccaver, Alfred 
Schipa. Tito 



Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Beck, William 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Morelato, Gildo 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Schwarz, Joseph 
Stabile, Mario 
Stanbury, Douglas 

Bassos 

Chaliapin, Feodor 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Kipnis, Alexander 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolich, Antonio 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



20 Italian 



Ai'da 8 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 3 

The Barber of Seville 3 

La Boheme 3 

Boris Godunoff 2 

Cavalleria Rusticana 3 

Fra Diavolo 2 

La Gioconda 4 

The Jewels of the Madonna ... 2 

The Jewess i 



Lucia di Lammermoor 
Madame Butterfly 

Martha 

Mefistofele 

Otello 

I Pagliacci 

Rigoletto 

La Tosca 

La Traviata 

II Trovatore 



1 3 French 



Carmen 2 

Faust 2 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 2 

Lakme 3 

Louise 2 

Pelleas and Melisande i 

The Pearl Fishers 4 



Le Prophete 2 

Romeo and Juliet i 

Samson and Delilah 3 

The Tales of Hoffman 2 

Thai's 3 

Werther 3 



/ English 
Hansel and Gretel 2 



/ German 
Tannhauser 4 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 385 

SEASON 1925-1926— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 

Officers 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer , Vice-President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Board of Trustees 

Mr. Robert Allerton Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter Mr. Harold F. McCormick 

Mr. R. T. Crane, Jr. Mrs. Arthur Meeker 

Mr. Charles G Dawes Mr. John J. Mitchell 

Mr. William R. Dawes Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Stanley Field Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. E. R. Graham Mr. John G. Shedd 

Mr. Samuel Insull Mr. Frank D. Stout 

Mr, Robert E. Kenyon Mr. Edward F. Swift 

Executive Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. William R. Dawes Mr. Frank D. Stout 
Mr. E. R. Graham 



Finance Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman Mr. John J. Mitchell 
Mr. John G. Shedd 

Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Mr. Herbert M. Johnson Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 

Conductors Defrere, Desire 

Polacco, Giorgio Drumheller, Charles (Assistant) 

Moranzoni, Roberto >-,, ,, 

~, , /^ u • 1 Chorus Master 

Grovlez, Cjabnel , . . A . 

Tier u u /-> Bernabini, Attico 
Weber. Henry G. 

Ballet Master 
Stage Director Oukrainsky, Serge 

Moor, Charles 

Premieres Danseuses 
Stage Managers Samuels, Helene 

Engel. Joseph C. Shermont, Viola 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



3 86 



Premieres Danseuses (Cont'd) 
Dobbins, Christine 
Nemeroff, Maria 

Assistant Conductors 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) 
Lauvvers, Charles 
Rubeling, Robert 
Sabino, Antonio 
St. Leger, Frank 
Spadoni, Giacomo 

Technical Director 
Beatty, Harry W. 

Scenic Artist 
Dove, Julian F. 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 

Season 

Tuesday, November 3, 1925, to 
Saturday, January 23, 1926. 
91 Performances 

1 Gala Performance 

4 Concerts 
32 Operas 

1 Ballet 

4 Concerts 

Sopranos 

Dal Monte, Toti 
Fitziu, Anna 
Forrai, Olga 
Freund, Helen 
Garden, Mary 
Garrison, Mabel 
d'Hermanoy, Alice 
Kerr, Elizabeth 
Macbeth, Florence 
Mason, Edith 
Melius, Luella 
Miura, Tamaki 



Sopranos (Cont'd) 
Muzio, Claudia 
Norelli, Stella 
Raisa, Rosa 
Sawyer, Eleanor 
Shear, Clara 

Contraltos 

d'Alvarez, Marguerite 
Claessens, Maria 
Homer, Louise 
Lenska, Augusta 
Nadworny, Devora 
Pavloska, Irene 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Tenors 

Ansseau, Fernand 
Cortis, Antonio 
Hackett, Charles 
Lamont, Forrest 
Marshall, Charles 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Ritch, Theodore 
Schipa, Tito 

Baritones 

Baklanoff, Georges 
Beck, William 
Bonelli, Richard 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Morelato, Gildo 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Ruffo, Titta 
Steel, Robert 
Torti, Ernesto 

Bassos 

Cotreuil, Edouard 
Kipnis, Alexander 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolich, Antonio 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



jg Italian 



Ai'da 4 

Andrea Chenier 4 

The Barber of Seville 4 

Boris Godunoff 2 

Cavalleria Rusticana 3 

Falstaff 2 



The Jewess 

Lucia di Lammermoor 
Madame Butterfly 

A Masked Ball 

Manon Lescaut 

Martha 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 387 

ig Italian (Cont'd) 

Namiko San 3 La Tosca 4 

Otello 3 La Traviata 5 

I Pagliacci 5 II Trovatore 4 

Rigoletto 3 

8 French 

Carmen 5 Pelleas and Melisande 1 

Faust 4 Resurrection 5 

Herodiade 2 Samson and Delilah 2 

Louise 1 Werther 2 

2 English 

Hansel and Gretel 2 A Light from St. Agnes 1 

3 German 

Lohengrin 2 Die Walkiire 2 

Der Rosenkavalier 4 

SEASON 1926-1927— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 

Officers 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Mr. Louis B. Kuppenheimer Vice-President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Board of Trustees 

Mr. Robert Allerton Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter Mr. Harold F. McCormick 

Mr. Richard T. Crane, Jr. Mrs. Arthur Meeker 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mr. John J. Mitchell 

Mr. William R. Dawes Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Samuel A. Ettelson Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Stanley Field Mr. Frank D. Stout 

Mr. Ernest R. Graham Mr. Edward F. Swift 

Mr. Samuel Insull Mr. Herman Waldeck 
Mr. Robert E. Kenyon 

Executive Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Ernest R. Graham Mr. Frank D. Stout 



388 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Finance Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. Ernest R. Graham 

Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 
Mr. John J. Mitchell 

Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Mr. Herbert M. Johnson Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 

Conductors Season 

Polacco, Giorgio Monday, November 8, 1926, to 

Moranzoni, Roberto Saturday, January 29, 1927. 

Weber, Henry G. 91 Performances 

St. Leger, Frank 1 Gala Performance 

34 Operas 

Stage Director 3 Concerts 

Moor, Charles 

Sopranos 

Stage Managers Alsen, Elsa _ 

Engel, Joseph C. Dal Monte, Toti 

Defrere Desire d'Hermanoy, Alice 

Drumheller, Charles H. (Asst.) Freund, Helen 

Garden, Mary 

Chorus Master Hamlin, Anna 

Bernabini, Attico Kurenko, Maria 

Loring, Louise 

Ballet Master Macbeth, Florence 

Oukrainsky, Serge Mason, Edith 

Misgen, Florence 

Premieres Danseuses Muzio, Claudia 

Samuels, Helene Norena Eide 

Shermont, Viola £ aisa - Ro * a 

Chapman, Evelyn Sawyer Eleanor 

Nemeroff, Maria Shear > Clara 

. . „ 1 Contraltos 

Assistant Conductors _ Claessens, Maria 

Bigalh, Dino (Librarian) Correnti, Anna 

Sabino, Antonio Jackson, Lorna Doone 

Lauwers, Charles Lenska, Augusta 

Spadoni, Giacomo Pavloska, Irene 

. , . Van Gordon, Cyrena 

Technical Director 

Beatty, Harry W. Tenors 

Ansseau, Fernand 

Scenic Artist Cortis, Antonio 

Dove, Julian Hackett, Charles 

Lamont, Forrest 

Orchestra Manager Lindi, Aroldo 

Raffaelli, Joseph Marshall, Charles 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



389 



Tenors (Cont'd) 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Rappaport, Albert 
Ritch, Theodore 
Schipa, Tito 

Baritones 

Bonelli, Richard 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Montesanto, Luigi 
Vanni-Marcoux 



Baritones (Cont'd) 
Morelato, Gildo 
Polese, Giovanni 
Preston, Howard 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Torti, Ernesto 

Bassos 

Cotreuil, Edouard 
Kipnis, Alexander 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolich, Antonio 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



24 Italian 



Ai'da 5 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 3 

The Barber of Seville 3 

La Boheme 5 

Boris Godunoff 1 

Cavalleria Rusticana 2 

La Cena della Beffe 3 

The Daughter of the Regiment 3 

Don Giovanni 3 

L'Elisir d'Amore 2 

Gianni Schicchi 2 

The Jewels of the Madonna ... 4 



The Jewess 5 

Lucia di Lammermoor 3 

Madame Butterfly 1 

Martha 4 

A Masked Ball 1 

Otello 3 

I Pagliacci 2 

Rigoletto 3 

La Sonnambula 2 

La Tosca 2 

La Traviata 4 

U Trovatore 5 



5 French 

Carmen 6 

Faust 1 

Judith 2 



Resurrection 3 

Samson and Delilah 2 



3 English 

Hansel and Gretel 1 The Witch of Salem 2 

Tiefland 3 



Der Rosenkavalier 



2 German 

2 Tristan and Isolde 4 



SEASON 1 927-1 928— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 

Officers 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer Vice-President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 



390 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Board of Trustees 



Mr. Robert Allerton 

Mrs. Jacob Baur 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter 

Mr. Richard T. Crane, Jr. 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes 

Mr. William R. Dawes 

Mr. Samuel A. Ettelson 

Mr. Stanley Field 

Mr. Ernest R. Graham 

Mrs. Edward Hines 

Mr. 



Mr. Samuel Insull 
Mr. Robert E. Kenyon 
Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 
Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 
Mr. Harold F. McCormick 
Mrs. Arthur Meeker 
Mr. Joseph R. Noel 
Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 
Mrs. Charles H. Schweppe 
Mrs. Edward F. Swift 
Herman Waldeck 



Executive Committee 



Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman 
Mrs. Jacob Baur 
Mr. John Alden Carpenter 
Mr. Charles G. Dawes 
Mr. William R. Dawes 



Mr. Ernest R. Graham 
Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 
Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 
Mr. Joseph R. Noel 
Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 



Finance Committee 



Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman 
Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman 



Mr. Ernest R. Graham 
Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 



Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Mr. Herbert M. Johnson Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 



Conductors 

Polacco, Giorgio 
Moranzoni, Roberto 
Weber, Henry G. 
Sabino, Antonio 

Stage Director 
Moor, Charles 

Stage Managers 
Engel, Joseph C. 
Defrere, Desire 
Drumheller, Charles (Assistant) 

Chorus Master 
Bernabini, Attico 

Ballet Master 

Swoboda, Vechslav 



Premiere Danseuse 
Yurieva, Maria 

Assistant Conductors 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) 
Lauwers, Charles 
Somma, Guglielmo 
Spadoni, Giacomo 
Tyroler, William 

Technical Director 
Beatty, Harry W. 

Scenic Artist 
Dove, Julian 

Orchestra Manager 
Raffaelli, Joseph 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



391 



Season 

Thursday, November 3, 1927, to 
Saturday, January 28, 1928. 
102 Performances 
1 Gala Performance 

4 Concerts 

5 Performances in Milwaukee 
34 Operas 

3 Ballets 

Sopranos 
Alsen, Elsa 
Dal Monte, Toti 
d'Hermanoy, Alice 
Elderkin, Eleanor 
Freund, Helen 
Garden, Mary 
Hamlin, Anna 
Kargau, Olga 
Kruse, Leone 
Macbeth, Florence 
Mason, Edith 
Meusel, Lucille 
Muzio, Claudia 
Norena, Eide 
Raisa, Rosa 
Samoiloff, Delia 
Witwer, Kathryn 

Contraltos 

Claessens, Maria 
Correnti, Anna 
Eberhart, Constance 
Jackson, Lorna Doone 
Lenska, Augusta 
Mario, Elinor 
Meisle, Kathryn 
Pavloska, Irene 



Contraltos (Cont'd) 
Van Gordon, Cyrena 
Rappold, Marie 
Shadow, Myrna 

Tenors 

Ansseau, Fernand 
Cortis, Antonio 
Hackett, Charles 
Lamont, Forrest 
Maison, Rene 
Marshall, Charles 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Rappaport, Albert 
Schipa, Tito 
Sample, John 

Baritones 

Bonelli, Richard 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Montesanto, Luigi 
Polese, Giovanni 
Preston, Howard 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Ringling, Robert 
Sandrini, Eugenio 
Schlusnus, Heinrich 
Vanni-Marcoux 
Morelato, Gildo 

Bassos 

Baromeo, Chase 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Kipnis, Alexander 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolich, Antonio 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



iq Italian 



Ai'da 4 

The Barber of Seville 3 

Cavalleria Rusticana 4 

Falstaff 2 

Gianni Schicchi 2 

The Jewels of the Madonna 3 

La Gioconda 5 

Linda di Chamounix 2 

Loreley 4 

Lucia di Lammermoor 3 



Madame Butterfly 

Martha 

A Masked Ball . . . 
Otello . 

I Pagliacci 

Rigoletto 

La Tosca 

La Traviata 

II Trovatore .... 



392 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

q French 

Carmen 3 Resurrection 1 

Faust 6 Romeo and Juliet 1 

Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. ... 2 Samson and Delilah 1 

Louise 4 Sapho 3 

Monna Vanna 3 

4 English 

Die Fledermaus 3 Snow Maiden 3 

Hansel and Gretel 1 Witch of Salem 1 

2 German 
Lohengrin 3 Tannhauser 6 

SEASON 1928-1929— CHICAGO CIVIC OPERA COMPANY 

Officers 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Vice-President 

Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer Vice-President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Mr. John W. Evers, Jr Assistant Secretary and Treasurer 

Board of Trustees 

Mr. Robert Allerton Mr. Robert E. Kenyon 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. R. T. Crane, Jr. Mr. Harold F. McCormick 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mrs. Arthur Meeker 

Mr. Samuel A. Ettelson Mr. Joseph R. Noel 

Mr. Stanley Field Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. John F. Gilchrist Mrs. Charles H. Schweppe 

Mr. E. R. Graham Mr. Edward F. Swift 

Mr. Samuel Insull Mr. Herman Waldeck 
Mr. Frank F. Winans 

(as President of the Chicago Association of Commerce) 

Finance Committee 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman Mr. E. R. Graham 

Mr. Stanley Field, Vice-Chairman Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. John F. Gilchrist 

Executive Committee 

Mrs. Jacob Baur Mr. E. R. Graham 

Mr. John Alden Carpenter Mr. L. B. Kuppenheimer 

Mr. Charles G. Dawes Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick 

Mr. Stanley Field Mr. Joseph R. Noel 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 393 

Executive Committee (Cont'd) 

Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 

Mr. Frank F. Winans (ex-officio) 

Mr. Samuel Insull, Chairman (ex-officio) 

Committee on Management 

Mr. Samuel Insull President 

Mr. Stanley Field Secretary and Treasurer 

Mr. Herbert M. Johnson Business Manager 

Mr. Giorgio Polacco Musical Director 

Conductors 

Polacco, Giorgio Orchestra Manager 

Moranzoni, Roberto Raffaelli, Joseph 

Weber, Henry G. 

Lauwers, Charles 

Season 

Stage Director Wednesday, October 31, 1928, to 

Moor, Charles Saturday, January 26, 1929. 

97 Performances 
Chorus Master 4 Performances in Milwaukee 

Bernabini, Attico 32 Operas 

1 Ballet Divertissement 

Premieres Danseuses 

Stewart, Muriel Sopranos 

\ur.eva, Maria Burke, Hilda 

Claire, Marion 

Soloists Consoli, Antonietta 

Barashkova Julia d'Hermanov, Alice 

Lundgren, Harriet Freund, Helen 

Pryor Ruth Garden, Mary 

Swoboda Vechslav Kerr, Elizabeth 

Caton, Edward Leider, Frida 

. . „ . Mason, Edith 

Assistant Conductors _ Meusel, Lucille 

Bigalli, Dino (Librarian) Mock, Alice 

Giuranna Mario Muzio, Claudia (on leave) 

Somma, Gughelmo p latt c]ara 

Spadoni, Giacomo Rais ^ Roga 

Tyroler, William Salvi, Margherita 

Turner, Eva 
Stage Manager 
Defrere, Desire 
Drumheller, Charles H. Contraltos 

(Assistant) Claessens, Maria 

Eberhart, Constance 
Technical Director Glade, Coe 

Beatty, Harry W. Olszewska, Maria 

Paggi, Ada 
Scenic Artist Pavloska, Irene 

Dove, Julian Van Gordon, Cyrena 



394 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Tenors 

Cavadore, Giuseppe 
Cortis, Antonio 
Hackett, Charles 
Lamont, Forrest 
Maison, Rene 
Marshall, Charles 
Mojica, Jose 
Oliviero, Lodovico 
Schipa, Tito 

Baritones 

Bonelli, Richard 
Defrere, Desire 
Formichi, Cesare 
Hill, Barre 



Baritones (Cont'd) 
Montesanto, Luigi 
Preston, Howard 
Rimini, Giacomo 
Ringling, Robert 
Sandrini, Eugenio 
Schipper, Emil 
Vanni-Marcoux 

Bassos 

Baromeo, Chase 
Cotreuil, Edouard 
Kipnis, Alexander 
Lazzari, Virgilio 
Nicolich, Antonio 
Trevisan, Vittorio 



iq Italian 



Aida 6 

L'Amore dei Tre Re 2 

La Boheme 5 

The Barber of Seville 5 

Boris Godunoff 4 

Cavalleria Rusticana 6 

Don Giovanni 3 

Don Pasquale 1 

L'Elisir d'Amore 3 

The Jewess 2 



Madame Butterfly 2 

A Masked Ball ' 3 

The Marriage of Figaro 3 

Norma 2 

Otello 3 

I Pagliacci 4 

Rigoletto 5 

La Tosca 1 

II Trovatore 2 



10 French 



Carmen 5 

Faust 2 

Judith 2 

Lakme 2 

Pelleas and Melisande 2 



Romeo and Juliet 3 

Samson and Delilah 4 

Sapho 2 

Th ai s 2 

The Tales of Hoffman 4 



j> German 



Lohengrin 4 

Der Rosenkavalier 3 



Die Walkure 



THE CHICAGO COMPANIES ON TOUR 
Total Tour Performances by Cities 



Akron, Ohio 5 

Amarillo, Texas 1 

Baltimore, Maryland 47 

Birmingham, Alabama 9 

Boston, Massachusetts 143 

Brooklyn, New York 1 

Buffalo, New York 8 

Butte, Montana 1 



Chattanooga, Tennessee 14 

Cincinnati, Ohio 26 

Cleveland, Ohio 32 

Columbus, Ohio 8 

Dallas, Texas 26 

Denver, Colorado 21 

Des Moines, Iowa 5 

Detroit, Michigan 26 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



395 



Total Tour Perform 

El Paso, Texas 4 

Fort Wayne, Indiana 1 

Fort Worth, Texas 5 

Fresno, California 2 

Helena, Montana 1 

Houston, Texas 10 

Indianapolis, Indiana 1 

Jackson, Mississippi 4 

Joplin, Missouri 1 

Kansas City, Missouri 13 

Lincoln, Nebraska 2 

Little Rock, Arkansas 2 

Los Angeles, California 45 

Memphis, Tennessee 10 

Miami, Florida 9 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 44 

Minneapolis, Minnesota 13 

Nashville, Tennessee 1 

New Orleans, Louisiana 2 

New York City, New York ... 216 

Oakland, California 8 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ... 5 

Omaha, Nebraska 3 

Peoria, Illinois 2 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . . . 189 



ances nv Cities {Cont'd) 

Phoenix, Arizona 2 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 32 

Portland, Oregon 21 

Rochester, New York 1 

Sacramento, California 3 

St. Joseph, Missouri 1 

St. Louis, Missouri 24 

St. Paul, Minnesota 22 

Salt Lake City, Utah 1 

San Antonio, Texas 11 

San Diego, California 1 

San Francisco, California .... 73 

Shreveport, Louisiana 2 

Seattle, Washington 17 

Sioux City, Iowa 2 

Sioux Falls, South Dakota .... 2 

Spokane, Washington 1 

Springfield, Illinois 2 

Tulsa, Oklahoma 12 

Washington, D. C 20 

Wichita, Kansas 7 

Wichita Falls, Texas 2 

Total Tour Performances. .. 1225 



Akron, Ohio 
Season 1926-1927 

March 22 (matinee) Rigoletto 

March 22 (night) II Trovatore 

Season 1927-1928 

February 14 Aida 

February 15 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel 

February 15 (night) La Traviata 

Amarillo, Texas 

Season 1928-1929 

March 18 Thais 

Baltimore, Maryland 
Season 1910-1911 

January 27 Aida 

February 2 The Tales of Hoffman 

February 9 The Girl of the Golden West 

February 16 Carmen 

February 23 Les Huguenots 

March 2 Thais 

March 9 Natoma 

March 16 La Boheme 

March 23 • Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 30 The Secret of Susanne, and Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 



396 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Season 1911-1912 

November 7 Thai's 

November 9 The Marriage of Figaro 

November 16 Samson and Delilah 

February 15 Die Walkiire 

February 22 The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 29 Lohengrin 

March 7 The Secret of Susanne and I Pagliacci and Ballet 

March 21 Aida 

March 22 Tristan and Isolde 

Season 1912-1913 

November 1 Carmen 

November 8 Aida 

November 15 Manon Lescaut 

November 22 Mignon 

February 7 Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 14 La Tosca 

May 1 Hansel and Gretel 

Season 1913-1914 

November 7 Rigoletto 

November 14. La Boheme 

November 21 La Tosca 

February 6 Madame Butterfly 

February 13 Die Walkiire 

February 20 The Tales of Hoffman 

February 27 The Jewels of the Madonna 

Season 1920-1921 

March 7 Monna Vanna 

March 8 La Traviata 

March 9 Otello 

Season 1921-1922 

March 6 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

March 7 Tannhauser 

March 8 La Boheme 

Season 1924— 1925 

February 11 Thai's 

February 12 Mefistofele 

February 14 La Gioconda 

Season 1925-1926 

February 8 La Tosca 

February 11 A Masked Ball 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 397 

Season 1926-1927 

February 14 A'ida 

February 15 Resurrection 

February 17 Tristan and Isolde 

Birmingham, Alabama 
Season 1925-1926 

March 1 Aida 

March 2 La Traviata 

March 3 Thai's 

Season 1926-1927 

February 28 II Trovatore 

March 1 (matinee) Resurrection 

March 1 (night) La Tosca 

Season 1928-1929 

February 22 Norma 

February 23 (matinee) Carmen 

February 23 (night) Faust 

Boston, Mass. 
Season 1917-1918 

February 18 Aida 

February 20 (matinee) Carmen 

February 20 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 21 Isabeau 

February 22 (matinee) Rigoletto 

February 22 (night) Thais 

February 23 (matinee) Faust 

February 23 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 25 (matinee ) Dinorah 

February 25 (night) Manon 

February 27 (matinee) La Boheme 

February 27 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 28 The Barber of Seville 

March 1 Romeo and Juliet 

March 2 (matinee) La Traviata 

March 2 (night) Aida 

Season 1919— 1920 

March 1 La Gioconda 

March 2 La Traviata 

March 3 Aphrodite 

March 4 Aida 

March 5 Pelleas and Melisande 

March 6 (matinee) L'Elisir d'Amore 

March 6 (night) L'Heure Espagnole and I Pagliacci 

March 7 Conceit at Symphony Hall 

March 8 Louise 

March 9 II Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi 



398 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Season 1919— 1920 (Cont'd) 

March 10 Rigoletto 

March 11 Thais 

March 12 Don Pasquale and Boudour (ballet) 

March 13 (matinee) Carmen 

March 13 (night) A Masked Ball 

Season 1922— 1923 

January 22 Aida 

January 23 La Tosca 

January 24 (matinee) Rigoletto 

January 24 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

January 25 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

January 26 Die Walkiire 

January 27 (matinee) La Boheme 

January 27 (night) II Trovatore 

January 29 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

January 30 Parsifal 

January 31 (matinee) Snow Maiden 

January 31 (night La Tosca 

February 1 Die Walkiire 

February 2 Madame Butterfly 

February 3 (matinee) Carmen 

February 3 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

Season 1923— 1924 

January 28 L'Africana 

January 29 Louise 

January 30 (matinee) Snow Maiden 

January 30 (night) The Barber of Seville 

January 31 Siegfried 

February 1 Carmen 

February 2 (matinee) Boris Godunoff 

February 2 (night) Faust 

February 4 Mefistofele 

February 5 Louise 

February 6 (matinee) La Traviata 

February 6 (night) Carmen 

February 7 Boris Godunoff 

February 8 Manon 

February 9 (matinee). .Jongleur de Notre Dame and Maestro di Capella 
February 9 (night) Otello 

Season 1924-1925 

January ^6 Aida 

January 27 Louise 

January 28 (matinee) Boris Godunoff 

January 28 (night) La Boheme 

January 29 Tannhauser 

January 30 Carmen 

January 31 (matinee) Romeo and Juliet 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 399 

Season 1924-1925 (Cont'd) 

January 31 (night) La Tosca 

February 2 Faust 

February 3 Thais 

February 4 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

February 4 (night) Rigoletto 

February 5 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

February 6 The Barber of Seville 

February 7 (matinee) Pelleas and Melisande 

February 7 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

Season 1925-1926 

January 25 Andrea Chenier 

January 26 Die Walkiire 

January 27 (matinee) Carmen 

January 27 (night) La Traviata 

January 28 Der Rosenkavalier 

January 29 Thais 

January 30 (matinee) Faust 

January 30 (night) A Masked Ball 

February 1 Falstaff 

February 2 Pelleas and Melisande 

February 3 (matinee) Lohengrin 

February 3 (night) Herodiade 

February 4 Manon Lescaut 

February 5 Resurrection 

February 6 (matinee) Samson and Delilah 

February 6 (night) II Trovatore 

Season 1926-1927 

January 31 Aida 

February 1 Resurrection 

February 2 (matinee) Faust 

February 2 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 3 La Cena della Beffe 

February 4 Tristan and Isolde 

February 5 (matinee) Pelleas and Melisande 

February 5 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 7 Boris Godunoff 

February 8 The Daughter of the Regiment and I Pagliacci 

February 9 (matinee) Carmen 

February 9 (night) Rigoletto 

February 10 Don Giovanni 

February 11 Judith and Gianni Schicchi 

February 12 (matinee) La Boheme 

February 12 (night) II Trovatore 

Season 1927-1928 

January 30 La Gioconda 

January 31 Sapho 

February 1 (matinee) Lohengrin 

February 1 (night) La Tosca and Les Sylphides (ballet) 



400 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1927-1928 (Cont'd) 

February 2 The Witch of Salem and I Pagliacci 

February 3 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame and Caprice Espagnole (ballet) 

February 4 (matinee) Romeo and Juliet 

February 4 (night) Aida 

February 6 Louise 

February 7 The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 8 (matinee) Carmen 

February 8 (night) Tannhauser 

February 9 Martha 

February 10 La Traviata 

February n (matinee) Samson and Delilah 

February 11 (night) Rigoletto 

Season 1928-1929 

January 28 Lohengrin 

January 29 Don Pasquale and Judith 

January 30 (matinee) La Boheme 

January 30 (night) Aida 

January 31 Die Walkure 

February 1 Lakme 

February 2 (matinee) Boris Godunoff 

February 2 (night) Thais 

February 4 The Marriage of Figaro 

February 5 Carmen 

February 6 (matinee) Pelleas and Melisande 

February 6 (night) Otello 

February 7 Der Rosenkavalier 

February 8 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

February 9 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

February 9 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

Brooklyn, New York 

Season 1910-1911 

November 14 Thai's 

Buffalo, New York 
Season 1925-1926 

February 22 Aida 

February 23 Thai's 

Season 1926-1927 

February 21 II Trovatore 

February 22 Resurrection 

February 23 La Traviata 

Season 1928-1929 

February 11 Faust 

February 12 Lohengrin 

February 14 Sapho — Ballet 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 4OI 

Butte, Montana 

Season 1912— 1913 

April 8 Thais 

Chattanooga, Tennessee 
Season 1923-1924 

February 22 The Jewess 

February 23 (matinee) Cleopatre 

February 23 (night) Mefistofele 

Season 1924-1925 

February 23 Thais 

February 24 (matinee) Boris Godunoff 

February 24 ( night) Tannhauser 

Season 1925-1926 

February 26 Aida 

February 27 (matinee) Carmen 

February 27 (night) La Traviata 

Season 1926-1927 

February 25 II Trovatore 

February 26 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

February 26 (night) A Masked Ball 

Season 1927-1928 

February 23 Resurrection 

February 24 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Cincinnati, Ohio 

Season 1911-1912 

February 6 Natoma 

February 7 (matinee) The Secret of Susanne and Hansel and Gretel 

February 7 (night) Tristan and Isolde 

Season 1912-1913 

November 25 Aida 

April 26 (matinee) Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

April 26 (night) Die Walkure 

April 27 Concert 

April 28 Rigoletto 

April 29 The Jewels of the Madonna 

Season 1919-1920 

March 19 Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 20 (matinee) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 20 (night) La Tosca 



402 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1920-1921 

March 18 Lohengrin 

March 19 (matinee) Rigoletto 

March 19 (night) Monna Vanna 

Season 1923-1924 

February 21 (matinee) Salome 

February 21 (night) Boris Godunoff 

Season 1924-1925 

March 9 Mefistofele 

March 10 Thais 

March n Romeo and Juliet 

March 12 La Gioconda 

Season 1925-1926 

February 24 Aida 

February 25 (matinee) Louise 

February 25 (night) Der Rosenkavalier 

Season 1926-1927 

February 24 (matinee) La Boheme 

February 24 (night) Resurrection 

Cleveland, Ohio 

Season 1910-1911 

January 19 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1911— 1912 

November 20 Thais 

November 21 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel 

November 21 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 8 (matinee ) The Tales of Hoffman 

February 8 (night) Gala Performance 

Season 1913-1914 

March 2 (matinee) The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 2 (night) La Tosca 

Season 1919— 1920 

March 25 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

March 26 Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 27 (matinee) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 27 (night) La Tosca 

Season 1920-1921 

March 14 Monna Vanna 

March 15 Lohengrin 

March 16 La Traviata 

March 17 Rigoletto 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 403 

Season 1923-1924 

February n The Jewess 

February 12 Mefistofele 

February 13 Salome 

February 14 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1924-1925 

February 19 La Gioconda 

February 20 The Barber of Seville 

February 21 (matinee) Thai's 

February 21 (night) Tannhauser 

Season 1925-1926 

February 15 La Tosca 

February 16 Madame Butterfly 

February 17 Martha 

February 18 Die Walkiire 

February 19 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel 

February 19 (night) Otello 

February 20 (matinee) Carmen 

February 20 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 



Columbus, Ohio 

Season 1912-1913 

April 30 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel 

April 30 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1927-1928 

February 20 Ai'da 

February 21 Resurrection 

February 22 Rigoletto 

Season 1928-1929 

February 18 Faust 

February 19 Thais 

February 20 Carmen 

Dallas, Texas 
Season 1912— 1913 

February 28 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel and I Pagliacci 

February 28 (night) Thai's 

March 1 (matinee) Die Walkiire 

March 1 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1913-1914 

March 4 Rigoletto 

March 5 La Boheme 

March 6 La Tosca 

March 7 (matinee) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 7 (night) Ai'da 



404 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1920-1921 

March 23 Carmen 

March 24 Lohengrin 

March 26 (matinee) La Traviata 

March 26 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1923-1924 

February 29 The Jewess 

March 1 (matinee) Mefistofele 

March 1 (night) Salome 

Season 1924-1925 

March 2 La Gioconda 

March 3 (matinee) Boris Godunoff 

March 3 (night) Tannhauser 

Season 1926-1927 

March 10 La Traviata 

March 11 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel 

March n (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 12 (matinee) Resurrection 

March 12 (night) Rigoletto 

Season 1928-1929 

February 27 Faust 

February 28 Lohengrin 

Denver, Colorado 
Season 1912-1913 

April 10 The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 11 Thais 

April 12 (matinee) — Second Act of The Tales of Hoffman, followed by 
Hansel and Gretel. 

April 12 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

April 13 Concert 

Season 1913-1914 

April 7 La Tosca 

April 8 (matinee) Aida 

April 8 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1920-1921 

April 26 Otello 

April 27 (matinee) La Traviata 

April 27 (night) Monna Vanna 

April 28 Lohengrin 

April 30 (matinee) L'Elisir d'Amore 

April 30 (night) Carmen 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 405 

Season 1921-1922 

April 17 Thais 

April 18 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

April 20 Tannhauser 

Season 1923-1924 

March 18 The Jewess 

March 19 Cleopatre 

Season 1927-1928 

March 27 Ai'da 

March 28 Resurrection 

Des Moines, Iowa 

Season 1913-1914 

April 13 Thai's 

Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 17 Faust 

October 18 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1920-1921 (preliminary tour) 

October 22 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

October 23 La Traviata 

Detroit, Michigan 
Season 1918-1919 

March 14 The Barber of Seville 

March 15 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

March 15 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 17 Thai's 

March 18 Romeo and Juliet 

March 19 II Trovatore 

March 20 Carmen 

Season 1919-1920 

March 22 La Tosca 

March 23 Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 24 (matinee ) Rigoletto 

March 24 (night) A Masked Ball 

Season 1923-1924 

February 18 Mefistofele 

February 19 Salome 

February 20 The Jewess 



406 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1926-1927 

March 19 (matinee) La Tosca 

March 19 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 20 Aid a 

March 21 Resurrection 

Season 1927-1928 

February 16 La Gioconda 

February 17 Madame Butterfly 

February 18 (matinee) Carmen 

February 18 (night) II Trovatore 

Season 1928-1929 

February 15 Faust 

February 16 (matinee) Lohengrin 

February 16 (night) Thai's 

February 17 Norma 

El Paso, Texas 
Season 1920-1921 

April 1 La Tosca 

April 2 Carmen 

Season 1928-1929 

March 4 Thais 

March 5 Lohengrin 

Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Season 1924— 1925 

November 20 Ai'da 

Fort Worth, Texas 
Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 24 Faust 

October 25 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

Octobe r 27 Aid a 

October 28 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

October 28 (night) A Masked Ball 

Fresno, California 

Season 1927-1928 

March 12 Sapho 

Season 1928-1929 
March 12 Norma 

Helena, Montana 

Season 1921-1922 

March 20 Thai's 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 407 

Houston, Texas 
Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 26 Faust 

October 27 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 30 Aida 

October 31 A Masked Ball 

Season 1920-1921 

March 28 (matinee) La Traviata 

March 28 (night) Carmen 

Season 1923-1924 

February 27 The Jewess 

February 28 Boris Godunoff 

Season 1926-1927 

March 5 Resurrection 

March 6 Aida 

Indianapolis, Indiana 

Season 1913-1914 

December 5 Die Walkure 

Jackson, Mississippi 
Season 1926-1927 

March 3 Resurrection 

March 4 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1928-1929 

February 25 Norma 

February 26 Thais 

Joplin, Missouri 

Season 1926-1927 

March 16 Aida 

Kansas City, Missouri 
Season 1912-1913 

April 15 The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 16 (matinee) Thais 

April 16 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1913-1914 

April 11 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

April 12 (matinee) Rigoletto 

April 12 (night) Parsifal 



408 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 19 Faust 

October 20 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 22 Aida 

October 23 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

October 23 (night) La Tosca 

Season 1923-1924 

March 22 (matinee) Salome 

March 22 (night) Boris Godunoff 

Lincoln, Nebraska 

Season 1927-1928 

March 29 II Trovatore 

Season 1928-1929 
March 21 Faust 

Little Rock, Arkansas 
Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

November 1 Aida 

November 3 Madame Butterfly 

Los Angeles, California 
Season 1912— 1913 

March 4 Thais 

March 5 (matinee) — Second Act of The Tales of Hoffman, followed by 
Hansel and Gretel. 

March 5 (night) Rigoletto 

March 7 Die Walkiire 

March 8 (matinee) Natoma 

March 8 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 9 Campanini Concert 

March 10 Tristan and Isolde 

March n Natoma 

Season 1913-1914 

March 10 Rigoletto 

March 11 (matinee) The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 11 (night) Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 12 (matinee and night) Parsifal 

March 13 Louise 

March 14 (matinee) Hamlet 

March 14 (night) Lohengrin 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 409 

Season 1920-1921 

April 4 Otello 

April 5 Carmen 

April 6 La Traviata 

April 7 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

April 8 Lohengrin 

April 9 (matinee) Monna Vanna 

April 9 (night) L'Elisir d'Amore 

Season 1921-1922 

April 10 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

April n The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 12 (matinee) Thais 

April 12 (night) Romeo and Juliet 

April 13 Louise 

April 14 Tannhauser 

April 15 Salome 

Season 1923-1924 

March 3 Cleopatre 

March 4 (matinee) Salome 

March 4 (night) Mefistofele 

March 5 The Jewess 

Season 1927-1928 

March 5 Tannhauser 

March 6 Resurrection 

March 7 La Gioconda 

March 8 II Trovatore 

March 9 The Witch of Salem and Cavalleria Rusticana 

March 10 (matinee) Sapho 

March 10 (night) Ai'da 

Season 1928-1929 

March 8 Norma 

March 9 (matinee) Thai's 

March 9 (night) Faust 

March 11 Lohengrin 

Memphis, Tennessee 
Season 1924— 1925 

February 26 Mefistofele 

February 27 La Gioconda 

March 28 (matinee) Thais 

February 28 (night) Tannhauser 

Season 1925-1926 

March 4 Ai'da 

March 5 La Traviata 

March 6 (matinee) Carmen 

March 6 (night) Rigoletto 



410 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1927-1928 

February 25 (matinee) Resurrection 

February 25 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

Miami, Florida 
Season 1925-1926 

March 8 Aida 

March 9 Thais 

March 10 La Traviata 

March 11 Madame Butterfly 

March 12 Otello 

March 13 (matinee) Carmen 

March 13 (night) II Trovatore 

March 14 Rigoletto 

March 15 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
Season 1910-1911 

December 9 Salome 

December 23 Thais 

Season 1911-1912 

December 8 Samson and Delilah 

December 29 Carmen 

January 5 Die Walkiire 

Season 1912-1913 

December 6 Aida 

December 13 The Jewels of the Madonna 

December 27 Mignon 

January 10 The Secret of Susanne and Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

January 31 Lucia di Lammermoor 

April 25 Hansel and Gretel 

Season 1913-1914 

November 28 La Gioconda 

January 2 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

January 2 (night) La Tosca 

April 23 Parsifal 

April 24 Louise 

April 25 (matinee) La Boheme 

April 25 (night) Lohengrin 

Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 15 Faust 

October 16 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1918-1919 

December 5 The Barber of Seville 

December 12 La Tosca 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 4II 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 13 Aida 

October 14 A Masked Ball 

Season 1920-1921 (preliminary tour) 

October 18 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

October 19 La Traviata 

Season 1921-1922 

March 13 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

March 14 Tannhauser 

March 15 Salome 

Season 1924-1925 

March 13 Mefistofele 

March 14 La Gioconda 

March 15 Rigoletto 

Season 1926-1927 

November 26 Ai'da 

December 10 Tristan and Isolde 

January 7 Resurrection 

Season 1927-1928 

November 18 La Traviata 

December 2 The Jewels of the Madonna 

December 16 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel 

December 16 (night) Louise 

January 6 Lohengrin 

Season 1928-1929 

November 16 Faust 

November 30 Carmen 

December 14 Lakme 

January 4. Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Minneapolis, Minn. 
Season 1912-1913 

April 22 Thais 

April 23 (matinee) Die Walkure 

April 23 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 24 (matinee) Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

April 24 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1927-1928 

March 30 , Ai'da 

March 31 (matinee) Resurrection 

March 31 (night) Tannhauser 

April 2 Snow Maiden 



412 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1928-1929 

March 22 Carmen 

March 23 (matinee) Faust 

March 23 (night) Thais 

March 25 Lohengrin 

Nashville, Tennessee 

Season 1928-1929 

February 21 Thai's 

New Orleans, La. 
Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 29 Faust 

October 30 Lucia di Lammermoor 

New York City 

Season 1910-1911 

January 24 Thai's 

January 31 Louise 

February 7 Pelleas and Melisande 

February 14 The Tales of Hoffman 

February 21 Carmen 

February 28 Natoma 

March 7 Natoma 

March 14 Secret of Susanne and Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 18 Thai's 

March 21 Louise 

April 4 Quo Vadis 

Season 1911-1912 

February 13 Carmen 

February 20 Cendrillon 

February 27 Secret of Susanne and Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 5 The Jewels of the Madonna 

Season 1912-1913 

November 19 Hamlet 

February 4 Louise 

February 11 Conchita 

February 18 Thais 

February 25 Le Ranz des Vaches 

May 3 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1913-1914 

February 3 Don Quichotte 

February 10 Louise 

February 17 Monna Vanna 

February 24 The Jewels of The Madonna 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 413 

Season 1917-1918 

January 23 Monna Vanna 

January 24 The Jewels of the Madonna 

January 25 Thais 

January 26 (matinee) Romeo and Juliet 

January 26 (night) Azora 

January 27 Concert at Hippodrome 

January 28 Dinorah 

January 30 Manon 

January 31 (matinee) Pelleas and Melisande 

January 31 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 1 Aid a 

February 2 (matinee) Monna Vanna 

February 2 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 3 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 4 (matinee) Louise 

February 4 (night) Faust 

February 6 Dinorah 

February 7 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame and Cavalleria Rusticana 

February 8 Carmen 

February 9 (matinee) Rigoletto 

February 9 (night) Ai'da 

February 10 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 11 Le Sauteriot 

February 13 (matinee) The Barber of Seville 

February 13 (night) Isabeau 

February 14 Faust 

February 15 La Traviata 

February 16 (matinee) Thais 

February 16 (night) Carmen 

February 17 Concert at Hippodrome 

March 3 Concert at Hippodrome 

Season 1918-1919 

January 27 Gismonda 

January 28 Romeo and Juliet 

January 29 Madame Butterfly 

January 30 Monna Vanna 

January 31 Le Chemineau 

February 1 (matinee) Thais 

February 1 (night) The Tales of Hoffman 

February 2 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 3 Isabeau 

February 4 Linda di Chamounix 

February 5 Pelleas and Melisande 

February 6 Manon 

February 7 Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 8 (matinee) Gismonda 

February 8 (night) Madame Butterfly 

February 9 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 10 Le Chemineau 



414 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1918-1919 {Cont'd) 

February II Cleopatre 

February 12 The Barber of Seville 

February 13 Loreley 

February 14 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame and Ballet 

February 15 (matinee) La Traviata 

February 15 (night) : • • Faust 

February 16 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 17 Crispino e la Comare 

February 18 Werther 

February 19 Thais 

February 20 Dinorah 

February 21 Carmen 

February 22 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

February 22 (night) U Trovatore 

February 23 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 24 Cleopatre 

February 25 Fedora 

February 26 La Traviata 

February 27 Pelleas and Melisande 

February 28 Cavalleria Rusticana, Le Vieil Aigle and Ballet 

March 1 (matinee) Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 1 (night) Rigoletto 

Season 1919— 1920 

January 26 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

January 27 Pelleas and Melisande 

January 28 (matinee) L'Heure Espagnole and I Pagliacci 

January 28 (night) Madame Chrysantheme 

January 29 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

January 30 • Rip Van Winkle 

January 31 (matinee) A Masked Ball 

January 31 (night) Madame Butterfly 

February 1 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 2 La Traviata 

February 3 Norma 

February 4 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

February 5 La Sonnambula 

February 6 Falstaff 

February 7 (matinee) Louise 

February 7 (night) La Boheme 

February 8 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 9 Thais 

February 10 Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 11 II Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi 

February 12 (matinee) L'Elisir d'Amore 

February 12 (night) Herodiade 

February 13 Hamlet 

February 14 (matinee ) Don Pasquale 

February 14 (night) A Masked Ball 

February 15 Concert 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 415 

Season 1919-1920 (Cont'd) 

February 16 1 Pagliacci and Boudour (ballet) 

February 17 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

February 18 Dinorah 

February 19 Norma 

February 20 Rigoletto 

February 21 (matinee) Cavalleria Rusticana and Boudour (ballet) 

February 21 (night) Carmen 

February 22 Concert 

February 23 (matinee) — L'lleure Espagnole and The Birthday of the 
Infanta (ballet) 

February 23 (night) Hamlet 

February 24 The Barber of Seville 

February 25 Gismonda 

February 26 La Traviata 

February 27 Aphrodite 

February 28 (matinee) Rigoletto 

February 28 (night) Aida 

February 29 Concert at Hippodrome 

Season 1920-1921 

January 24 Norma 

January 25 Monna Vanna 

January 26 La Tosca 

January 27 The Jewels of the Madonna 

January 28 Carmen 

January 29 (matinee) Le Chemineau 

January 29 (night) Rigoletto 

January 31 Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 1 Otello 

February 2 Manon 

February 3 Thai's 

February 4 Jacquerie 

February 5 (matinee) La Sonnambula 

February 5 (night) Faust 

February 7 Madame Butterfly 

February 8 The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 9 Romeo and Juliet 

February 10 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

February n The Barber of Seville 

February 12 (matinee) Monna Vanna 

February 12 (night) Otello 

February 14 Carmen 

February 15 Lakme 

February 16 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

February 17 Otello 

February 18 Manon 

February 19 (matinee) La Traviata 

February 19 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 20 Concert at Hippodrome 

February 21 Edipo Re 



416 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1920-1921 (Cont'd) 

February 22 (matinee) La Tosca 

February 22 (night) Romeo and Juliet 

February 23 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

February 24 La Boheme 

February 25 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 26 (matinee) Faust 

February 26 (nigra) Rigoletto 

February 28 Monna Vanna 

March 1 The Barber of Seville 

March 2 La Traviata 

March 3 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 4 Otello 

March 5 (matinee) Hamlet 

March 5 (night) Carmen 

Season 1921-1922 

January 23 Monna Vanna 

January 24 La Traviata 

January 25 Pelleas and Melisande 

January 26 The Girl of the Golden West 

January 27 Madame Butterfly 

January 28 The Barber of Seville 

January 30 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

January 31 Tristan and Isolde 

February 1 La Boheme and La Fete a Robinson (ballet) 

February 2 1 Pagliacci and The Birthday of the Infanta (ballet) 

February 3 The Jewels of The Madonna 

February 4 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

February 4 (night) Salome 

February 6 La Traviata 

February 7 Louise 

February 8 Tannhauser 

February 9 Rigoletto 

February 10 Salome 

February n (matinee) The Girl of the Golden West 

February 11 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 13 Tannhauser 

February 14 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

February 15 The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 16 Thai's 

February 17 1 Pagliacci and The Birthday of the Infanta (ballet) 

February 18 (matinee) Ai'da 

February 18 (night) Salome 

February 20 Manon 

February 21 . .Le Jongleur de Notre Dame and Fete a Robinson (ballet) 

February 22 Otello 

February 23 Samson and Delilah 

February 24 Thai's 

February 25 (matinee) Rigoletto 

February 25 (night) L'Amore dei Tre Re 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 417 

Oakland, Cal. 
Season 1927-1928 

March 13 Aida 

March 14 Resurrection 

March 15 . . ." La Gioconda 

March 16 Snow Maiden 

Season 1928-1929 

March 14 Lohengrin 

March 15 Thais 

March 16 (matinee) Faust 

March 16 (night) Norma 

Oklahoma City, Okla. 
Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 22 Faust 

October 23 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 24 Aida 

October 25 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

October 25 (night) La Tosca 

Omaha, Neb. 

Season 1913-1914 

April 14 Thais 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 20 Aida 

October 21 A Masked Ball 

Peoria, III. 
Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 15 Aida 

October 16 A Masked Ball 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Season 1910-1911 

January 20 Aida 

January 21 (matinee) Thais 

January 21 (night) Rigoletto 

January 23 The Girl of the Golden West 

January 25 Carmen 

January 27 La Boheme 

January 28 (matinee) Louise 

January 28 (night) II Trovatore 

January 30 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 1 Thais 

February 3 The Girl of the Golden West 

February 4 (matinee) The Tales of Hoffman 



4i8 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



Season 1910-1911 (Cont'd) 

February 4 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 6 Otello 

February 8 Faust 

February 10 Pelleas and Melisande 

February 11 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

February 11 (night) Les Huguenots 

February 13 Carmen 

February 15 Ai'da 

February 17 Thais 

February 18 (matinee) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 18 (night) La Traviata 

February 20 The Tales of Hoffman 

February 22 Madame Butterfly 

February 24 Rigoletto 

February 25 (matinee) La Boheme 

February 25 (night) Natoma 

February 27 II Trovatore 

March 1 The Tales of Hoffman 

March 3 Natoma 

March 4 (matinee) Aida 

March 4 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 6 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 8 La Tosca 

March 10 The Tales of Hoffman 

March 11 (matinee) Natoma 

March 11 (night) Madame Butterfly 

March 13 La Boheme 

March 15 Natoma 

March 17 Secret of Susanne and Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 18 La Tosca 

March 20 Aida 

March 22 Rigoletto 

March 24 Carmen 

March 25 (matinee) — Secret of Susanne, 2nd act, The Tales of Hoff- 
man, and Russian Ballet 

March 25 (night) Quo Vadis 

March 27 Quo Vadis 

March 28 Natoma and Secret of Susanne 

March 29 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 31 Quo Vadis 

April 1 (matinee) Quo Vadis 

April 1 (night) — 3rd act La Boheme, 2nd act The Tales of Hoffman, 
The Secret of Susanne, 2nd act Thai's, 4th act Faust. 

April 3 Natoma 

April 5 Quo Vadis 

Season 1911-1912 

November 3 Carmen 

November 4 (matinee) The Marriage of Figaro 

November 4 (night) II Trovatore 

November 6 Cendrillon 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 4I9 

Season 1911-1912 (Cont'd) 

November 8 Samson and Delilah 

November 10 Die Walkiire 

November n (matinee) Thais 

November 11 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

November 13 Carmen 

November 15 Lucia di Lammermoor 

November 17 Cendrillon 

November 18 (matinee) La Traviata 

November 18 (night) Hansel and Gretel 

February 12 Quo Vadis 

February 14 The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 16 The Tales of Hoffman 

February 17 (matinee) Cendrillon 

February 17 (night) La Traviata 

February 19 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 21 Thais 

February 23 Tristan and Isolde 

February 24 (matinee) Natoma 

February 24 (night) Rigoletto 

February 26 Samson and Delilah 

February 28 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 1 The Jewels of The Madonna 

March 2 (matinee) Faust 

March 2 (night) The Secret of Susanne, I Pagliacci and Ballet 

March 4 Pelleas and Melisande 

March 6 A Lovers' Quarrel and The Tales of Hoffman 

March 8 Aida 

March 9 (matinee) Die Walkiire 

March 9 (night) Carmen 

March n The Jewels of the Madonna 

Marsh 13 The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 14 Carmen 

March 15 Lohengrin 

March 16 (matinee) A Lovers' Quarrel, and Hansel and 

Gretel and Ballet 

March 16 (night) The Tales of Hoffman 

March 18 Aida 

March 19 The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 20 (matinee) The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 20 (night) Louise 

Season 1912-1913 

October 31 Aida 

November 2 (matinee) Manon Lescaut 

November 2 (night) The Tales of Hoffman 

November 4 Rigoletto 

November 6 A Masked Ball 

November 7 The Cricket on the Hearth 

November 8 Aida 

November 9 (matinee ) Rigoletto 



420 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1912-1913 {Cont'd) 

November 9 (night) Carmen 

November 11 Aida 

November 13 (matinee) The Cricket on the Hearth 

November 13 (night) Hamlet 

November 14 Manon 

November 16 (matinee) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

November 16 (night) La Traviata 

November 18 Mignon 

November 20 Tristan and Isolde 

November 21 II Trovatore 

November 23 (matinee) The Jewels of the Madonna 

November 23 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

February 3 Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 5 Mignon 

February 6 Conchita 

February 8 (matinee) — The Secret of Susanne and Le Jongleur de 
Notre Dame 

February 8 (night) Lohengrin 

February 10 Noel and I Pagliacci 

February 12 (matinee) La Traviata 

February 12 (night) La Tosca 

February 13 Die Walkiire 

February 15 (matinee) Thai's 

February 15 (night) Faust 

February 17 La Boheme 

February 19 Conchita 

February 20 A Lovers' Quarrel and Crispino e la Comare 

February 21 Ranz des Vaches 

Fberuary 22 (matinee) Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 22 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 24 Ranz des Vaches 

February 25 The Barber of Seville 

May 3 Hansel and Gretel 

Season 1913-1914 

November 3 La Tosca 

November 5 The Barber of Seville 

November 6 Aida 

November 8 (matinee) The Girl of the Golden West 

November 8 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

November 10 Rigoletto 

November 12 (matinee) The Jewels of the Madonna 

November 12 (night) La Tosca 

November 13 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

November 15 (matinee) Don Quichotte 

November 15 (night) Natoma 

November 17 La Gioconda 

November 19 Don Quichotte 

•November 20 Cristoforo Colombo 

November 21 La Tosca 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 42 1 

Season 1913-1914 (Cont'd) 

November 22 (matinee) Cristoforo Colombo 

November 22 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 2 La Sonnambula and I Pagliacci 

February 4 Carmen 

February 5 La Traviata 

February 7 (matinee) Manon 

February 7 (night) Aida 

February 9 Faust 

February n Herodiade 

February 12 Thai's 

February 14 (matinee) Monna Vanna 

February 14 (night) Madame Butterfly 

February 16 1 Zingari and The Tales of Hoffman 

February 18 Rigoletto 

February 19 Louise 

February 21 (matinee) Don Giovanni 

February 21 (night) La Tosca 

February 23 Cristoforo Colombo 

February 25 Mignon 

February 26 Cassandra and A Lovers' Quarrel 

February 28 (matinee) Hamlet 

February 28 (night) Rigoletto 

Season 1918-1919 

March 3 Cleopatre 

March 4 Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 5 Gismonda 

March 6 (matinee ) Madame Butterfly 

March 6 (night) The Barber of Seville 

March 7 Thais 

March 8 Romeo and Juliet 

Season 1921-1922 

February 27 Tannhauser 

February 28 Salome 

March 1 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

March 2 Romeo and Juliet 

March 3 Pelleas and Melisande 

March 4 (matinee) The Jewels of the Madonna 

March 4 (night) Monna Vanna 

Phoenix, Ariz. 
Season 1928-1929 

March 6 Thai's 

March 7 Carmen 

Pittsburgh, Pa. 
Season 1911— 1912 

February 9 Natoma 

February 10 (matinee) . . . .The Secret of Susanne and Hansel and Gretel 
February 10 (night) Tristan and Isolde 



422 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1918-1919 

March 10 Thai's 

March 11 Madame Butterfly 

March 12 The Barber of Seville 

March 13 II Trovatore 

Season 1919— 1920 

March 15 (matinee) Lucia di Lammermoor 

March 15 (night) La Tosca 

March 16 A Masked Ball 

March 18 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1920-1921 

March 10 La Traviata 

March 11 Lohengrin 

March 12 (matinee) Rigoletto 

March 12 (night) Carmen 

Season 1921-1922 

March 9 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

March 10 Faust 

March 11 (matinee) Salome 

March 11 (night) Aida 

Season 1922— 1923 
February 8 The Jewels of the Madonna 

February 9 Aida 

February 10 (matinee) Carmen 

February 10 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1923-1924 

February 15 Mefistofele 

February 16 (matinee) Cleopatre 

February 16 (night) The Jewess 

Season 1924-1925 

February 16 Boris Godunoff 

February 17 Tannhauser 

February 18 Thais 

Season 1926-1927 

February 18 La Traviata 

February 19 (matinee) Resurrection 

February 19 (night) Aida 

Portland, Ore. 
Season 1912-1913 

March 31 The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 1 Thai's 

April 2 (matinee) 2nd act Tales of Hoffman and Hansel and Gretel 

April 2 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 423 

Season 1913-1914 

April 2 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

April 3 Parsifal 

April 4 (matinee) Aida 

April 4 (night) La Tosca 

Season 1921-1922 

March 22 Monna Vanna 

March 23 Lohengrin 

March 24 Romeo and Juliet 

March 25 (matinee) Thais 

March 25 (night) Aida 

Season 1923-1924 

March 10 Cleopatre 

March n Boris Godunoff 

March 12 (matinee) Salome 

March 12 (night) The Jewess 

Season 1927-1928 

March 22 Aida 

March 23 Snow Maiden 

March 24 (matinee) Resurrection 

March 24 (night) II Trovatore 

Rochester, N. Y. 

Season 1927-1928 

February 13 Resurrection 

Sacramento, Cal. 

Season 1927-192S 

March 17 (matinee) Resurrection 

March 17 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1928-1929 
March 13 Thais 

St. Joseph, Mo. 

Season 1913-1914 

April 15 Thais 

St. Louis, Missouri 
Season 1910-1911 

January 13 (matinee) The Tales of Hoffman 

January 13 (night) Carmen 

January 14 (matinee) The Girl of the Golden West 

January 14 (night) Louise 

January 15 Concert 



424 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1911-1912 

February 2 Thais 

February 3 (matinee) ... .The Secret of Susanne and Hansel and Gretel 

February 3 (night) Tristan and Isolde 

February 5 Carmen 

Season 1912-1913 

April 17 The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 18 Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 

April 19 (matinee) Lucia di Lammermoor 

April 19 (night) Die Walkure 

April 20 Concert 

Season 1913-1914 

April 16 Parsifal 

April 17 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

April 18 (matinee) La Tosca 

April 18 (night) Aida 

Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

November 2 Faust 

November 3 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1924-1925 

March 6 La Gioconda 

March 7 (matinee) Mefistofele 

March 7 (night) Tannhauser 

Season 1926-1927 
March 18 Resurrection 

St. Paul, Minnesota 
Season 1911-1912 

January 28 _ Concert 

January 29 Tristan and Isolde 

January 30 (matinee) Le Jongleur de Notre Dame and Ballet 

January 30 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

January 31 (matinee) Die Walkure 

January 31 (night) Natoma 

Season 1913-1914 

April 20 Rigoletto 

April 21 (matinee) Manon 

April 21 (night) La Boheme 

April 22 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1918-1919 (preliminary tour) 

October 16 La Tosca 

October 17 The Barber of Seville 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 425 

Season 1919-1920 (preliminary tour) 

October 17 Aid a 

October 18 (matinee) Madame Butterfly 

October 18 (night) A Masked Ball 

Season 1920-1921 (preliminary tour) 

October 29 Rigoletto 

October 30 (matinee) La Traviata 

October 30 (night) Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Season 1921-1922 

March 16 Romeo and Juliet 

March 17 Thais 

March 18 (matinee) Salome 

March 18 (night) Tannhauser 

Salt Lake City, Utah 

Season 1923-1924 

March 17 Gala performance 

San Antonio, Texas 
Season 1920-1921 

March 30 (matinee) La Tosca 

March 30 (night) Thais 

Season 1926-1927 

March 7 Aid a 

March 8 Resurrection 

March 9 La Traviata 

Season 1927-1928 

March 2 La Gioconda 

March 3 (matinee) La Tosca 

March 3 (night) II Trovatore 

Season 1928— 1929 

March 1 Faust 

March 2 (matinee) Lohengrin 

March 2 (night) Norma 

San Diego, California 

Season 1912-1913 

March 6 Thai's 

San Francisco, California 
Season 1912-1913 

March 12 Rigoletto 

March 13 (matinee) Hansel and Gretel and The Secret of Susanne 

March 13 (night) Thai's 

March 14 Die Walkure 

March 15 (matinee) La Traviata 

March 15 (night) Natoma 

March 16 Concert 



_:: 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 



■:^D 1912-1913 {Cor.:.: 

\ ':.::- :- Lbom 

■ . ■ 1 ; » Lucia di Lammermoor 

■ : r: 

. :. : : -.gh: Noel and I Pagliacci 

M ;r;i ; : Crispino e la Comare 

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March 22 zz^-.ztt A Love:- Quarrel and Le Jongie.: Ac Notre Dame 

:. :; :.£z: Tristan and Isolde 

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?.'i::i :; : _-~: H::-:. .:: .::::. 

kfaicn 29 (matinee) Thais 

gh: Gala performance 

Seison 1913-1914 

Maica 1 :' Rigoletto 

Mzr- :- Aida 

rzrf La Boheme 

- : -igi: Louise 

!■.::;_-. :: Herodiade 

?•';-:- :: T* 1 * 1 ! 

March 21 (matinee ...C zvalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

git The Jewels of the Madonna 

Ifaxd : : Parsifal 

V: - ::. :: . . Li « :> :i 

?. ' 1 - : r :_ I : ~ e r. g : i z 

nch 2> La Traviata 

Man* 26 Parsifal 

March 2- Louise 

Ifaidh 2? Thais 

Y.z.:z2 -.: M-::-: 5_r:er£j 

frisr.n 1920-1921 

11 Otello 

12 C::~f: 

13 La Traviata 

14 LAmore dei Tre Re 

15 II Trovatore 

:: ~'-:'.ztz L.~i :: Li~ — errr.:-:r 

1: righ: :::•: 

18 Rigoletto 

19 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

20 Thais 

21 Lohengrin 

22 Rigoletto 

:; ~:--t? Monna Yanna 

: : 1 : ght I La Tosca 






FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 427 

Season 1921-1922 

March 27 ATda 

March 28 L'Amore dei Tre Re 

March 29 Rigoletto 

March 30 Tannhauser 

March 31 Lohengrin 

April 1 (matinee) Romeo and Juliet 

April 1 (night) The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 3 Madame Butterfly- 
April 4 Tannhauser 

April 5 Louise 

April 6 Salome 

April 7 La Boheme 

April 8 (matinee) Monna Vanna 

April 8 (night) The Girl of the Golden West 

Season 1923-1924 

March 6 Mefistofele 

March 7 Cleopatre 

March 8 (matinee) Boris Godunoff 

March 8 (night) The Jewess 

Shreveport, Louisiana 
Season 1917-1918 (preliminary tour) 

October 31 Faust 

November 1 Lucia di Lammermoor 



Seattle, Washington 
Season 1912-1913 

April 3 The Jewels of the Madonna 

April 4 Thais 

April 5 (matinee) — Second Act of Tales of Hoffman and Hansel and 
Gretel. 

April 5 (night) Lucia di Lammermoor 

April 6 Concert 



Season 1913-1914 

March 30 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

March 31 Lohengrin 

April 1 (matinee) Aida 

April 1 (night) La Tosca 

Season 1923-1924 

March 13 Mefistofele 

March 14 The Jewess 

March 15 (matinee) Salome 

March 15 (night) Boris Godunoff 



428 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1927-1928 

March 19 La Gioconda 

March 20 Aid a 

March 21 (matinee) Snow Maiden 

March 21 (night) Resurrection 

Sioux City, Iowa 
Season 1920-1921 (preliminary tour) 

October 25 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

October 26 La Traviata 

Sioux Falls, South Dakota 
Season 1920-1921 (preliminary tour) 

October 27 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

October 28 La Traviata 

Spokane, Washington 

Season 1912-1913 

April 7 Thai's 

Springfield, Illinois 
Season 1920-1921 (preliminary tour) 

October 20 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

October 21 La Traviata 

Tulsa, Oklahoma 
Season 1920-1921 

March 21 Thai's 

March 22 La Traviata 

Season 1923-1924 

February 25 Cleopatre 

February 26 Mefistofele 

Season 1924-1925 

March 4 La Gioconda 

March 5 Boris Godunoff 

Season 1926-1927 

March 14 Aid a 

March 15 La Traviata 

Season 1927-1928 

February 27 II Trovatore 

February 28 Rigoletto 

Season 1928-1929 

March 19 Lohengrin 

March 20 Thais 



FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 429 

Washington, District of Columbia 
Season 1911-1912 

March 25 (matinee) Aida 

March 25 (night) Natoraa 

Season 1912-1913 

February 7 La Tosca 

February 14 Lucia di Lammermoor 

May 2 Hansel and Gretel 

Season 1913-1914 
February 13 Madame Butterfly 

Season 1922-1923 

February 5 Aida 

February 6 La Tosca 

February 7 Snowmaiden 

Season 1924-1925 

February 9 Tannhauser 

February 10 Boris Godunoff 

February 13 Lucia di Lammermoor 

February 14 Thais 

Season 1925-1926 

February 9 La Tosca 

February 10 Louise 

February 12 Martha 

February 13 (matinee) Carmen 

February 13 (night) Rigoletto 

Season 1926-1927 

February 16 A Masked Ball 

February 17 Resurrection 

Wichita, Kansas 

Season 1912-1913 

April 14 Lucia di Lammermoor 

Season 1913-1914 
April 9 Thais 

Season 1921-1922 

April 21 Carmen 

April 22 Aida 

Season 1923-1924 

March 20 Mefistofele 

March 21 Cleopatre 



430 FORTY YEARS OF OPERA IN CHICAGO 

Season 1926-1927 
March 17 Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci 

Wichita Falls, Texas 
Season 1927-1928 

February 29 Aida 

March 1 Resurrection 



THE END 



n/ 




A 



\^L\y 



From JEHROLD NEDWICK 

\ntiMuarian Bookseller 
2013 Prairie. Chicago. l'J. HI. 




UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA 

SHEARS OF OPERA ?N CHICAGO NY 




Soil 2 025321149